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Education / Union suspends school strikes after new pay offer

A PROGRAMME of school strikes which was set to affect Shetland has been suspended after talks secured an improved pay offer for local government workers.

The UNISON union said it has negotiated a “ground-breaking commitment to tackle low pay across local government” which should deliver above inflation increases for the lowest paid workers for at least the next three years.

The union previously announced a programme of rolling strike action in schools across Scotland.

This has already impacted some areas of the country in recent weeks, but strike dates for Shetland had not yet been announced.

UNISON will put the new pay offer to its members with the recommendation that they vote to accept it. The ballot will run over the next few weeks.

UNISON Scotland’s head of local government Johanna Baxter said: “Over the past few months, from the employers’ original offer to today, the action of UNISON members has secured more than an additional £100m into the pockets of local government workers.

“This includes an additional £17.2m secured in the last couple of weeks. The improvements put forward today help address low pay and support those in the squeezed middle.

“The commitment to delivering a minimum rate of pay of £15 per hour for all local government workers by April 2026 will go a long way to tackling low pay across the sector.

“Backdating the full offer to April this year will see an improvement for four in ten local government workers. It was UNISON members who stood on picket lines to fight for a better deal. It was UNISON negotiators who brokered this deal.

“And it will be UNISON members who determine whether it gets accepted.”

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