COUNCIL worker strikes set to go ahead next week have been called off after all three union's have recommended their members take up the latest pay offer from council bosses. 

After days of "intense" negotiations between Cosla, union chiefs, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney and the Scottish Government – a deal has finally been struck. 

Trade union Unison said that three "sticking points" were overcome late last night during talks with the First Minister

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What has changed?

The first was that the pay envelope has been increased to £600 million, the second that the pay increases will be fully consolidated from the date of implementation, and the calculations will be based on a 36-hour week (rather than a 37-hour week).

Meanwhile, Unite, who are also recommending members take the deal, said the FM's intervention was a "primary reason for the breakthrough".

The National:

GMB union said they will put the offer to members for consultation but will suspend the planned strike action in waste services and schools while that is underway. 

The offer consists of:

• An increase of £2000 for those earning up to £20,500

• An increase of £1925 for those earning between £20,500 to £39,000 

• A 5% increase for those earning between £39,000 to £60,000

• A maximum increase of £3k for those earning above £60,000

• The removal of SSSC fees where application (social care registration fees)

• One extra day annual leave

• All increases based on a 36hr week calculator 

The National: The first phase of strikes led to overflowing bins in Scotland's biggest citiesThe first phase of strikes led to overflowing bins in Scotland's biggest cities

What are union leaders saying?

Johanna Baxter, Unison head of local government, said the deal was a "victory" for members. 

She said: "It has taken eight months and the industrial might of Unison members in schools and early years and waste and recycling workers to drag £600m out of Scottish government and Cosla and into the pockets of hardworking people. 

"Cosla originally offered 2%, then 3.5%, then 5% – we now we have £600m on the table, which is a 7.5% increase to the total pay bill and 87% of our council workers will receive fully consolidated increases between 5% to 10%. 

"Unison wants to get this money into the pockets of council workers now while we continue the campaign to support people through the cost of living crisis.

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"It is only through the collective action of our members in school and early years staff threatening strike action and our waste and recycling workers taking action that we have forced these extra funds out of government and the employer. 

"Our member’s message was clear and unequivocal – Unison’s local government members are no longer prepared to be treated as the poor relations of the public sector.  They will stand up, speak up and organise to win change together. 

"There is always more to do but this is a welcome step in the right direction.”

The National: Johanna Baxter said the latest offer is a "victory" for union membersJohanna Baxter said the latest offer is a "victory" for union members (Image: PA)

Mark Ferguson, chair of Unison Scotland's local government committee, added: “Do not underestimate the scale of the achievement for Unison members. 

"We have won significant increases from where we started eight months ago. We have had to drag the employer to the table to even talk to us. 

"This will go someway to help them through the cost-of-living crisis but by no means is the fight over. Unison will now continue its campaign to improve pay and conditions for all workers in local government.”

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Wendy Dunsmore, Unite’s lead negotiator for local government, welcomed the new offer, she said: “After the latest round of intensive talks a new credible offer has finally been put on the table by COSLA.

"Unite wants to acknowledge the First Minister’s direct involvement as a primary reason for the breakthrough.

"The offer on the table is fully consolidated and as such there will be more cash in the pot going forward for local government workers. It provides a degree of security for the lowest paid with a flat rate offer of £2000 which is an uplift worth around 10-11 per cent.

"We now have a credible offer which our local government representatives can recommend to the membership for acceptance.”

The National: Dinsmore said that the FM's intervention was critical to ending the disputeDinsmore said that the FM's intervention was critical to ending the dispute

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, said: “It’s not a perfect offer but it is the view of GMB Scotland’s local government committee that it’s worthy of members consultation and their acceptance, but ultimately our members whose campaigning and strike actions have improved these terms will have the final say.

“In the meantime, we have agreed to suspend all planned strike action so this consultation process can take place and our GMB organisers and workplace reps will be visiting as many workplaces as possible to engage our members on this."

What are councils saying?

Dougie Reid, SNP Cosla group leader, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to reach a fair pay deal that all COSLA parties have agreed - our council employees deserve to have their hard work properly valued.

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“The deal brokered and proposed by the SNP focuses particularly on the needs and interests of our lower paid employees.

“Given the financial challenges facing budgets in Scotland, I am grateful for the way the Scottish Government and COSLA have stepped up so that the funding and flexibilities needed have been provided."

The East Ayrshire council leader added: “It’s not been easy but we have managed to find a package that I hope the unions can now recommend to their members - and we can get money into people's bank accounts at the earliest opportunity to help meet the increasing cost of living.”

Councillor Katie Hagmann, COSLA’s resources spokesperson, added: “The revised offer made shows that Scotland’s council leaders have listened to the concerns of our workforce and have responded positively."