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Daily Record
Daily Record
Jenny Foulds & Fraser Clarke

West Dunbartonshire Council workers reject pay offer - but won't strike

Council workers in West Dunbartonshire have rejected a proposed two percent payrise – but won’t join members of 26 other councils across the country by striking.

Members of Unite, Unison and GMB unions are set to walk out after refusing to accept the offer by Cosla - the body for local authorities.

However, West Dunbartonshire is one of five local authorities where there are no plans for a strike as workers didn’t meet the 50 percent threshold required.

The local authority’s Labour leader Martin Rooney called on the Scottish Government to provide more funding for local authorities, saying: “Over recent years, council staff have had to endure hardship with pay offers not matching their expectations and over time the value of their pay has been eroded.

Martin Rooney has praised workers at WDC. (Lennox Herald)

“Our council staff don’t want to take industrial action. They would much rather be at their work carrying out the professional jobs they are trained to do.

“Taking industrial action which disrupts vital public services to local people is always the last resort for council workers. However, the cost of living crisis has worsened this and for many, it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“Unfortunately, the council’s primary funding comes from the Scottish Government, so councils don’t have enough resources to fully fund a cost of living pay offer.

“We need additional funding from the Scottish Government so that, we in turn can offer our staff a reasonable pay offer which reflects the cost pressures they face.”

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie (Lennox Herald)

Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie added: “A two percent rise when inflation is more than nine percent is a slap in the face for hard-working local authority staff who stepped up to the plate during the pandemic. I fully back calls from the trade unions to convene an urgent meeting of council leaders with the Scottish Government and the trade unions to seek additional funding to make a decent pay offer and avoid industrial action.”

However the Scottish Government said the issue was nothing to do with them with a spokesman saying pay settlements for council workers - excluding teachers - are a matter for Cosla.

He said: “As it is not a member of the SJC, the Scottish Government cannot directly intervene in pay negotiations, which are for the trade unions to negotiate with Cosla.”

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