Dundee council workers ‘pressured’ into accepting pay offer from Scottish Government

A previous Unite protest
A previous Unite protest

Thousands of council workers in Dundee have accepted the latest pay offer on the table from the Scottish Government.

The move ends the current threat of industrial action by local authority staff in the city.

However, local union leaders say that members had felt pressurised into accepting the offer over fears for the future of their jobs.

Stewart Fairweather, of the Dundee branch of Unite, said his members were very concerned their jobs were safe.

He added: “Members are telling us they voted for the offer out of fear for the future of their jobs.

“Basically they are saying they accepted what is really an unacceptable offer in a bid to safeguard their jobs.

“They believe they had to agree to the money on offer because they couldn’t risk losing their jobs.

“This vote means that for the time being, the possibility of industrial action, including strike action, in the near future is no longer a threat.”

Mr Fairweather said that Unite members would now be getting together to hold talks to ensure that the terms and conditions of their jobs were acceptable.

In a consultative ballot last Friday, 82% of Unite members voted to accept the offer from local government body Cosla with 17% voting to reject it.

Meanwhile, 69% of GMB members voted to accept the offer.

A spokesman said: “The offer of a flat rate payment of £350 for employees who earn less than £35,000 per year and a 1% rise for those who earn above £35,000 per year is considered the best that can be achieved without resorting to industrial action.”

Tony Dowling, GMB Scotland senior officer for public services, said: “GMB Scotland members have voted in favour of this offer.

“We will now be looking for the employers to make good on their commitment to a pay strategy group for local government in which GMB Scotland will make the case for the inconsistencies arising in local government pay to be dealt with fairly.

“Our members are concerned with job security and workload pressure, as a result of local government cuts, as well as pay.”

The pay offer affects 4,500 council employees in the city, including care workers, janitors, parking wardens and leisure and culture staff.

The council was asked to comment but hadn’t responded by the time of going to press.

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