COUNCIL workers across Scotland are set to walk out this month after last-ditch attempts to stave off strike action failed.

Staff represented by Unison and Unite have rejected the 3.5% pay increase offered by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).

Unions were arguing for a flat increase of £3000 to all council workers and a minimum hourly rate of £12 per hour.

Wendy Dunsmore, a Unite regional officer, said both the Scottish Government and Cosla were “equally to blame” for the strikes.

She added: “Our members are fed-up with this politicking because all they want is an offer put on the table which reflects their hard work and helps them deal with the cost of living crisis hurting families across Scotland.”

READ MORE: Veteran Tory MP called out for spreading misinformation in Scotland rant

The National: Overflowing bins in Glasgow when binmen went on strike last year Overflowing bins in Glasgow when binmen went on strike last year

Unison said the offer was worse than that put to their colleagues in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – which equated to a 10.5% pay rise for the lowest paid workers.

Binmen in Edinburgh will strike on Thursday with the stoppage lasting until August 30 – risking waste piling high in the streets of the capital during the Festival season.

READ MORE: Journalists at several Scottish newspapers set to take strike action

A second wave of strike action, involving non-teaching school staff and nursery workers among others, will take place across the country the following week, with workers in 14 councils downing tools.

Where are strikes taking place?

  • Aberdeen City
  • Angus
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Dundee
  • East Ayrshire
  • East Lothian
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Falkirk
  • Glasgow
  • Highland
  • Inverclyde
  • South Ayrshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • West Lothian

Pay talks between trade unions and Cosla ended on Friday, with a 3.5% pay increase offered by councils – a rise Unite described as “paltry”.

Johanna Baxter, the head of local government at Unison, said: “We are in a ridiculous position of both our employers and the Scottish Government agreeing this 3.5% pay offer is not nearly enough, but both are at logger heads about who should pay for it.

READ MORE: Grant Shapps in 'secret communication' over Inverness to Moscow private flight

“Meanwhile council workers – over half earn less than £25,000 per year - are worrying about paying the bills. Inflation is predicted to rise to 13.5% and our members are offered a real-terms pay cut which will plunge more of them into debt.

"We have written to Cosla to tell them the strike continues in waste and recycling and we will confirm dates for strike action in schools and early years in the coming days.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The offer is nowhere near good enough. Council leaders across Scotland including Edinburgh and Glasgow are publicly on the record acknowledging this reality so why should our members even consider it.

“We make no apologies for standing up for our members because they deserve better than what they are getting from the politicians.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "We are disappointed that despite providing an extra £140 million of Scottish Government funding on a recurring basis to support a higher pay award for council staff – more than half the amount Cosla asked for in order to make a 5% offer – local government has only offered a 3.5% increase, which has now been rejected by the workforce.

“As the employers, these pay negotiations are a matter for local authorities and unions - the Scottish Government has no formal role. We urge Cosla to urgently reconsider its position and match the Scottish Governments additional £140m that would be required to increase the pay offer to 5%.

“The Scottish Government must balance a fixed budget with very significant competing demands as a consequence of the cost of living crisis and the inaction of the UK Government. The main tax levers are set for the whole year and cannot be changed. With no power to borrow for this spend, the extra £140m has got to come from somewhere else within the budget and no more funding can be offered."

Cosla declined to comment.