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Council workers in Moray ready to join the rest of Scotland in strike over pay

By Ewan Malcolm

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MORAY Council workers could take strike action if their pay claim, submitted 10 months ago, is not met.

Moray Council. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Moray Council. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

That's after the Joint Trade Unions issued notices of industrial action to local authorities across Scotland on Monday, October 25.

If a resolution cannot be found, employees in school cleaning, school catering, school janitorial, waste, recycling and fleet maintenance will strike from November 8 until November 12.

Moray joins just over half of local authority areas in Scotland which have a mandate for strike action.

A spokesperson for Moray Council said: "We have an outstanding query with trade unions in relation to the outcome of the ballot, and aren't in a position to comment further until we receive clarity."

It is understood that this could be the start of an escalating period of action if the employer does not change their position.

The Joint Trade Unions have also written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Local Government and Education calling on them to intervene.

Johanna Baxter, UNISON Scotland head of local government, said: "It is the combined failure of both COSLA and the Scottish government to reward these key workers that has led to the situation where we have now been forced to issue notice of targeted strike action.

"Our members are at breaking point and are worth more than what is on offer – it is deeply regrettable that they should have to withdraw their labour for the employer to recognise their worth. Over 55% of LG workers earn below £25,000 per year, and the vast majority have received no reward at all for their efforts during the Covid pandemic.

"The current offer does not even bring the lowest paid LG workers up to £10 per hour."

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite industrial officer, added: "School cleaners, caterers and janitors alongside fleet maintenance, waste and refuse workers are saying enough is enough.

"Let's be clear that this situation has arisen because COSLA and the Scottish Government are forcing local government workers into taking industrial action due to their derisory pay offer. Both have a duty to get back round the negotiating table with a new offer or industrial unrest is imminent."

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