Scottish strike action on hold

11 Jan 01
Unison has agreed to suspend strike action in Scottish local authorities after securing a number of 'guarantees' from employers which could lead to a £5 an hour minimum wage for workers.

12 January 2001

Negotiations between Unison and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities are scheduled to resume on January 15 in a bid to end the five-month dispute over pay.

Unison, which represents two-thirds of Scottish local government workers, has refused to accept Cosla's offer of a 6.1% pay increase over two years. Up to 1,300 members of the union have been taking selective strike action, despite other unions accepting the deal last year.

But Joe Di Paola, Unison's Scottish organiser for local government, said employers had set a number of 'parameters' for new discussions including a 'guarantee' of an inflation-proof pay settlement plus a potential increase in the 6.1% offer, weighting any rises towards the lower paid and a £5 minimum wage.

'While we haven't yet got all that we wanted, these new guarantees are significant enough for us to explore with the employers the possibility of a settlement,' he said.

But the talks appear destined to be heated. Unison is determined to continue with its campaign for a 5% increase for 2000/01. 'We do not accept Cosla's pay deal,' a spokesman said. Cosla said it will be concentrating on a long-term pay deal for 2003 and 2004, although its 'door would always be open to talk about all areas of pay'.


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