Council staff offered 1% pay rise

About 250,000 council workers across Scotland are being offered their first pay rise for two years.

Local government umbrella body Cosla has put an offer to unions that would mean a 1% increase for all local authority employees from April next year.

It also proposes raising the lowest rate of pay from £7.20 to a guaranteed living wage of £7.50 an hour.

Such a move could benefit 17,000 workers - the majority of them women.

Cosla said the pay offer represented "the very limits of what councils can afford".

Councillor Billy Hendry, the organisation's human resources spokesman, said it would bring an end to the council pay freeze.

"Councils have worked hard in very difficult circumstances to put together the best possible deal for their workforce, particularly for those at the lower end of the pay scale," he said.

"Today's landmark offer is therefore important because it not only ends the current pay freeze but because it offers a sectoral best deal to our lowest-paid employees."

Offer consultation

Alex McLuckie, senior organiser for the public sector at GMB Scotland, said he was pleased with aspects of the offer but wanted to see more on the table, particularly for workers earning under £21,000.

"Given that we've had a period of three years of no pay increase, we still think it's a bit light," he added.

Dougie Black, Unison trade union side secretary, gave the offer a guarded welcome.

"We still have to go into some discussions with them about the detail, about how it will apply and be implemented," he said.

"It certainly is encouraging that they have made that type of offer."

Mr Black said that the move would be discussed at a meeting of local government branch delegates on Friday next week and that it was expected to go out to members for consultation.

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