Schools in 10 local governments in Scotland are at risk of collapse after Education and Youth Services workers voted for industrial action, Unite has confirmed.
The union said thousands of workers, including janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff, will take targeted action in the new school year amid a dispute over pay.
Union members in Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Western Isles, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Glasgow, Inverclyde and Orkney supported the action.
Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, said it came after talks with the council’s governing body Cosla failed to put an improved salary offer on the table.
The union is calling on First Minister Humza Yousaf to intervene directly in the dispute.
Last week support staff at GMB Scotland voted to go on strike in a dispute over an offer of a 5.5% annual pay rise.
Ms Graham said: “The message to both the Scottish Government and Cosla is loud and clear. Thousands of our members have voted for a strike in the education and kindergarten sectors because they do not want to accept an actual pay cut.
“Our members deserve politicians receiving well over 5% of their donations. We will fully support our members in their fight for better jobs, wages and conditions in local government.”
A Cosla spokesman said the “strong offer” would increase local government’s living wage by 99p to £11.84 an hour.
It is an offer that recognizes both the critical role of the people who deliver our essential services to communities every day and the value we place on them as an employer
He said: “The reality is that the Council leaders, as employers, have made a strong offer to the workforce. A strong offering that clearly demonstrates the value municipalities place in their workforce and compares well to other industries.
“Aware of the pressures our workforce faces on the cost of living, it aims above all to protect jobs and services.
“While the offer value is 5.5% this year, the average pay rise next fiscal year is 7%. Those earning Scottish Local Government’s living wage would receive 9.12% and those in higher grades, where local authorities face major recruitment problems, would receive 6.05%.
“It is an offer that recognizes both the critical role of the people who deliver our essential services to communities every day and the value we place on them as an employer.
“Also, crucially, this will raise Scottish Local Government’s living wage by 99p to £11.84 an hour and we are committed to working with our unions to develop a roadmap to £15 an hour that will benefit our workforce and protects our services.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Local government pay negotiations are a matter for local authorities as employers and unions.”
“The Scottish Government and COSLA are committed to honoring this negotiated agreement as part of the Verity House agreement.
“Despite the UK Government’s cuts, the Scottish Government has committed a further £155m to support a meaningful wage increase for local government workers, which has been included in the salary offer already made by COSLA.
“The Scottish Government is urging all parties to work together constructively and reach an agreement that is fair for workers and affordable for employers.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/school-support-staff-in-10-councils-vote-for-strike-action-in-pay-dispute-b1098981.html School supervisors in 10 municipal councils vote for a strike in the wage dispute