Nicola Sturgeon will meet union leaders in an attempt to put an end to the “crisis” of the municipal workers’ strike.
The Prime Minister will chair the talks on Thursday afternoon, with discussions taking place as cleaning begins in some of Scotland’s largest councils after the cleaning department workers strike.
Litter has piled up on the streets following the action – with Unite’s Wendy Dunsmore warning that without a deal, unions will seek to escalate union action.
Unite is calling for a lump sum increase of £ 3,000 for all municipal employees, although in a video posted on social media, Johanna Baxter of Unison – the largest of the three unions involved in the dispute – appeared dismissive of such a deal.
In order for such an offer to be acceptable, Ms Baxter, head of local government at Unison Scotland, said there should be more money on the table, adding that without it a deal risked “literally taking money out of the pockets” of some. workers.
Meanwhile, new strikes by waste workers are already scheduled for next week, when the staff of some local authorities will leave for eight days, while the dispute will also extend to schools and early childhood workers, who will take part in a three-year period. day of protest in some areas.
Unite – which is involved in the dispute along with Unison and GMB – previously said it had notified the strike notice in 20 local government areas.
However, Sturgeon has already warned that all options to make more funds available for pay have been “exhausted”.
The Prime Minister tweeted: “If we could go further we would, but @scotgov’s budget is limited.”
Ms Dunsmore told BBC Radio Scotland she will use the meeting to call for a “fair and decent wage increase for all workers”.
The Unite regional officer told Mornings with Stephen Jardine: “We hope he will intervene to find a solution to this crisis we are in.
“Our members don’t want to be on strike any more than anyone else would want our members to be on strike, but this is the position they have been forced to take.”
Unions have already rejected a 5% pay raise offered by local government agency Cosla, with Ms. Dunsmore insisting that the current offer shows “contempt for the lowest pay”.
He continued: “What we want is a fair and decent wage increase.
“Our request is for a flat rate of £ 3,000. Right now they are offering £ 2,000 to the highest paid workers, but for others they are offering a lot less, but with a cash incentive or cash payment.
“Cash payments will disappear fairly quickly with taxes and insurance. If I were Cosla or the Scottish Government, I would definitely try to consolidate it in pay because then it would be worth something today, tomorrow and in the future. “
He filed the request as clean-up operations have begun in parts of Scotland, including Glasgow, the country’s largest local authority.
However, Glasgow City Council warned residents to expect a “significant delay for all collections” due to the “large backlog”.
Aberdeen City Council also said there is a large work backlog and warned that “there may still be disruptions to normal services.”
According to the Scottish Government, the latest offer included a payment of at least £ 1,925 for council staff, with those earning £ 20,000 receiving £ 2,000.
But Unite said the payment could be as little as £ 989 for some employees, with 85% receiving between £ 1,925 and £ 2,000 and any payments would be non-recurring.
If an agreement cannot be reached, Dunsmore said the unions – which have already warned of a possible winter of discontent – could step up their action.
“Next week’s trade union action is three days in schools and early years, and in waste it is eight days,” he said.
“What happens next is that the unions will reorganize and try to further escalate the situation so that this could have further impacts on services across Scotland.”
He added: “Our members are very adamant about what they are looking for, they cannot afford to work in poverty. So we have to make plans and a strategy to meet the needs of our members. “