Renfrewshire bin workers balloted for strike action

Renfrewshire waste workers at a bin lorry
-Credit: (Image: Paisley Daily Express)

Trade union Unite has served industrial action notices to Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire councils in an escalating pay dispute.

Chiefs at Scotland’s biggest union confirmed yesterday that the local authorities are amongst 29 councils to be officially served papers as they warned strikes could begin as early as July.

The union will now ballot its members in cleansing and waste services, with votes to be cast in a ballot that will run between June 5 an July 1.

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.”

The Paisley Daily Express revealed earlier this week how Unite’s local government representatives had rejected the most recent pay deal outright.

The offer comprises a 2.2 per cent uplift in wages 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 on the basis that it is nothing but an attempt to “kick the can down the road”.

Graham McNab, Unite industrial officer, said: “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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