29 October 2021

Cop26 bin strikes suspended following new pay deal

29 October 2021

Bin collection and street cleaner strikes threatened during the Cop26 global climate summit have been called off following a new pay deal.

Local authority umbrella body Cosla made a new pay offer to council trade unions on Friday, days before the start of the UN climate conference in Glasgow.

The Scottish Government gave £30 million to support the offer.

Cosla proposes a one-year 5.89% increase for the lowest paid council staff, as part of a £1,062 rise for all staff earning below £25,000.

The fact it’s taken to the brink of the Cop to get this offer speaks volumes to our members

In response, the GMB union called off strikes due to start on Monday for a two-week consultation with members.

The GMB was calling for a £2,000 pay rise and previously turned down an offer of an £850 a year increase for staff earning up to £25,000.

The union’s Drew Duffy said: “We have received a new offer from Cosla that will be subject to a two-week consultation of our members from Monday 1 November, during which we have agreed to suspend strike action.

“While we are pleased that more money for key workers has been found at the 11th hour, the fact it’s taken to the brink of the Cop to get this offer speaks volumes to our members.

“For months, Cosla said they couldn’t pay, and Ministers said they wouldn’t pay, while staff have been attacked by political leaders for standing up for their services and value.”

He said members will decide if the offer delivers value but called on Minsters and employers to “show far more respect” to the workers.

Gail Macgregor, Cosla’s resources spokeswoman, said: “Council leaders have reached an agreement today on a new and significantly improved offer that will hopefully be fully acceptable to our workforce and get the money into their pockets as soon as possible.

“We are pleased that as a result of this improved offer our trade union colleagues have notified us this afternoon that they will suspend strike action.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We welcome the news that the immediate prospect of strike action has been averted.

“Given that local authorities are the employers we were not party to negotiations but we supported the search for a solution with a one-off offer of additional funding of £30 million.

“We recognise and respect that union processes must now proceed but we hope that today’s progress heralds a formal agreement.”

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