GMB ends dispute and accepts Scottish local government pay deal

Trade union GMB has confirmed that it has ended its dispute with Scottish councils body Cosla over local government pay.

In November last year members of GMB and Unite rejected a 3% pay increase for 2008-09 and 2.5% for 2009-10 offered by Scottish local government body Cosla. The unions stuck to their guns for a 5% increase for 2008-09, a figure based on last year’s inflation rates.

But GMB organiser Alex McLuckie said that due to changes in the economic situation and a drastic drop in inflation, member representatives had now accepted the offer. The decision was made at a meeting on 18 December 2008 and kept under wraps until the New Year.

Drop in inflation

He said: “When we were taking industrial action inflation was running at 5% and we were being offered 2.5%. The retail price index rate last month was at 3% and the forecast is that is likely to drop in the months ahead. So we went from a position where our offer was lagging behind inflation, and we’re now ahead.”

McLuckie added that Unison’s acceptance of Cosla’s 3% offer last year had made it more difficult to pursue industrial action. The majority of local authorities in Scotland had also chosen to go ahead with the pay increase.

Unite has kept up its opposition to Cosla’s offer, however. Organiser Jimmy Farrelly said: “We’re particularly disappointed with the response of the employers over low pay. There is a major issue. What they’ve offered in terms does not seem to have the capacity to address this.”

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