Unions representing thousands of local government staff in Scotland are consulting their members on an improved pay offer of 3% for 2008-9 and 2.5% for 2009-10.
Unite, Unison and GMB have suspended further industrial action, having threatened to stage a third one-day strike this week.
The unions welcomed the concessions by Cosla, announced after a meeting described by the local government employers’ body as “fruitful and productive”.
The 3% offer would be backdated from 1 April this year. From next April, pay would rise by a further 2.5%.
Workers angered by the original offer of 2.5% over three years have already disrupted council services with two one-day strikes – one in July, which included an estimated 20,000 social care staff, and another in September. Union leaders said each walkout was supported by 150,000 members.
A spokesperson for Unison Scotland, which represents more than 100,000 council staff in the dispute, said branch representatives would discuss the latest offer at a local government conference on 10 October.
He refused to speculate on the outcome of the consultation. However, Alex McLuckie, senior organiser for GMB Scotland, which represents 26,000 members, was “not convinced that the offer goes far enough to resolve this dispute for GMB members”.
McLuckie said his members were concerned about inflation, and would vote on the offer in a postal ballot.
A spokesperson for Cosla said the decision to call off further strikes was “good news for Scotland’s communities”.
The spokesperson added: “We have now explored every possibility and have managed to make them a new and improved offer, which is the best that we can do.”
Cosla – official homepage
Unite – official homepage