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Council / Unison members ready for strike action – but not yet in Shetland

COUNCIL services in Shetland will not be affected by any industrial action from Unison – at least not for the time being.

The local government trade union said yesterday (Tuesday) that thousands of council workers have voted to take industrial action which will disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres across Scotland.

Unison members among local authority staff in Shetland have rejected the pay offer of two per cent by more than 90 per cent, but have not yet been balloted on strike action.

They cannot therefore not be involved in a “first wave” of selective action, according to the local Unison branch.

Local government umbrella body CoSLA and Unison will meet again on Friday for further negotiations.

Unison’s head of local government Johanna Baxter said CoSLA had to come up with an improved offer to avoid large-scale disruption to council services across Scotland.

“Council workers south of the border were offered a flat rate uplift of £1,925, which for those on the lowest pay equates to a 10.5 per cent increase,” she said.

“You have to wonder why council workers north of the border have only been offered a measly two per cent increase when the cost of living continues to spiral.

“Unison have been calling for a flat rate payment to help those on lower incomes. Most council workers earn less than £25k per year.”

The union can only take strike action in local authority areas where the ballot turnout among members is higher than 50 per cent.

Unison said that has been achieved in the following areas: City of Glasgow, Orkney Islands Council, Aberdeenshire Council, East Renfrewshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Inverclyde.