An update has been issued by UNISON as school strikes loom.

UNISON Scotland’s local government committee met this morning, September 14, and voted unanimously to reject Cosla's revised offer outright, which was sent to the union on the evening of September 13.

The union says that unless a significantly improved offer is received by 5pm on Wednesday, September 20, schools strikes planned for September 26, 27 and 28 will go ahead.

UNISON has written to Colsa today to say: “The revision is miniscule and as a result, the unanimous decision of our committee is that we reject this offer outright and proceed with strike action on the dates already notified.”

The letter to Cosla points out that the revised offer represents an increase on the previous offer of only 0.17 per cent.

For those on the lowest pay the revised offer represents an increase of only £0.01 per hour, effective from January 1, 2024. 

Those working full-time and earning £25,000 or above are being offered no increase on the previous offer, which has already been rejected. 

UNISON Scotland head of local government, Johanna Baxter, said: “It is deeply disappointing that it has taken Cosla five months since our members rejected the initial offer to present such insignificant changes. 

"We have made very clear that Cosla must put forward a significantly improved offer to avert mass school strikes. Members of our Local Government Committee this morning described this offer as insulting. 

"It is staggering that Cosla has still not approached, and continues to refuse to approach, the Scottish Government for additional funding to make a meaningful improvement to the pay offer. Given the state of local authority budgets we believe this to be a dereliction of the duty to stand up for local government and fight for the funding needed to both properly reward the local government workforce and keep our public services running.”

Chair of UNISON Scotland's local government committee, Mark Ferguson, said: “The strike mandate we have is the strongest show of strength by our members in decades – their resolve to fight for the decent pay rise they, and all their colleagues across local government, so richly deserve is clear.”