COUNCIL bosses have made a fourth revised pay offer to staff in a bid to avert further strike action which could close schools next week.

Umbrella body Cosla agreed to a plan by 24 votes to eight to give £2000 to the lowest paid workers and cap the amount of cash given to staff on higher incomes, the Daily Record reports. 

The latest proposal would mean those earning up to £20,000 would receive £2000, workers on between £20,000 and £39,000 would get £1900, and high earners between £39,000 and £60,000 will be given 5%. 

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chaired talks between Cosla and union bosses at St Andrews House in Edinburgh on Thursday in an attempt to bring an end to the dispute. 

The offer comes after unions first rejected a 3% offer which led to the walk out by bin staff in Edinburgh and caused piles of rubbish to accumulate in the city centre during the peak of the festival season.

A further 13 councils joined the industrial action the following week, with a later 5% offer also being rejected.

The National: Cosla said they hope the latest offer will end the disputeCosla said they hope the latest offer will end the dispute

A third bid attempted to get staff to agree to a pay rise of a minimum of £1925 extra, but unions rejected the offer as a "waste of precious time".

If the strikes go ahead, waste workers in 20 council areas will walk out next week, alongside nursery and school staff at seven local authorities. 

Councillor Katie Hagmann, Cosla’s resources spokesperson, said: “Firstly I would like to thank all our trade union colleagues for the constructive discussions.

“The revised offer made shows that Scotland’s council leaders have listened to the concerns of our workforce and have responded positively.

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“Council leaders have said consistently throughout these negotiations that we very much value and are grateful to the local government workforce. 

“We have sent letters to our union colleagues following today’s meeting and hope that this enables strike action to be suspended and allows our workforce to get back to doing what they do best, delivering high-quality essential services for the people within our communities right across Scotland.”

Unite, Unison and GMB Scotland, who represent local authority workers, have been contacted for comment.

More to follow...