GMB union members vote to accept board pay offer

Members of the GMB union in Scottish councils have accepted a pay offer after a strike by waste workers.

Edinburgh waste workers walked out at the height of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, leaving rubbish to pile up in the street.

Staff in other areas of the council, including Glasgow, also downed tools, with the threat of a strike by non-teaching school staff looming before Unite, Unison and GMB agreed to offer members a new deal.

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Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon personally intervened in the talks, calling a meeting that lasted more than eight hours, before council leaders made a new offer to staff the following day.

Some 81% of those polled voted in favor of the deal, GMB said.

The deal will provide a lump sum increase of £1,900 for staff earning less than £39,000 a year, retroactive to April 1.

The union’s Scottish organizer Keir Greenaway said: “Our members accepted the offer brokered by the unions and the Prime Minister by a clear majority.

“We are now calling on councils to ensure that this consolidated increase is incorporated into members’ salaries and conditions as soon as possible, as the cost of living crisis has not gone away.”

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But the union leader said the end of the dispute should be a “point of reflection rather than a relief” for politicians.

“Tens of thousands of low-wage workers have waited months for a decent wage offer due to soaring inflation and sky-high energy bills. This is unacceptable and cannot be repeated next year.

“GMB is clear that after years of wage and service cuts, this must be the start of history in the fight for the fair value of our key workers, as this period of intense economic pressure will last for years and not months.

“Most importantly, we want to honor our members. Striking isn’t easy, but through sacrifice and solidarity, they’ve secured a vastly improved pay rise to help weather the winter months of this cost of living crisis.

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