Council cleansing and waste staff across Ayrshire to vote on summer strike action

-Credit: (Image: Staffordshire Sentinel Newspaper)
-Credit: (Image: Staffordshire Sentinel Newspaper)

Cleansing and waste workers at all three of Ayrshire's councils are to be balloted on strike action as part of an escalating pay dispute.

Unite, Scotland’s largest union, has today announced that it has served industrial action notices to 29 councils across Scotland. The trade union confirmed that it will ballot thousands of its members in cleansing and waste services from June 5 to July 1 when the ballots close.

Unite revealed that strike action could begin from July with major events potentially being impacted during the summer including the Open Championship at Royal Troon in the middle of the month.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: "Our members undertake vital frontline jobs. Despite the essential work they do, they have seen their pay eroded for years, they are simply no longer prepared to tolerate this situation.

"COSLA and the Scottish government have been warned that they must do far more to meet the pay aspirations of our members. The blame for any strike action taking place will lie at their doors.”

“We will back our members all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions in local government.”

Last Friday, Unite confirmed that its local government representatives had rejected outright a formal pay offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (COSLA).

The offer comprises 2.2 per cent effective from April 1 to September 30, and then two per cent for a 12-month period effective from October 1, 2024 to September 30, 2025. Unite rejected the offer, and the proposal to change the pay anniversary date from April to October, branding it an attempt to “kick the can down the road.”

The only councils not involved in Unite’s ballot process are Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, and the Orkney Islands.

Graham McNab, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite has now served industrial action notices to nearly every council in Scotland. If the ballots are successful, then our members in cleansing and waste services could begin strike action from July. Any action could impact on major summer events including the Edinburgh festival.”

“Let’s be clear that COSLA and the Scottish government must come back to us with a significantly revised pay offer, if they do not, then our members will have no option but to take action.”

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