FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has thanked the trade unions for “positive discussions” after strikes across Scotland’s local authorities were seemingly averted.

The SNP leader said it was time for the Tory government to “do its job too” and step in to deal with the energy crisis gripping the UK.

Late on Friday afternoon, all three of the trade unions planning a wave of industrial action – Unison, Unite, and the GMB – said that a new pay offer would be recommended to their members.

The planned strike action across waste and education services has been suspended while members vote on the pay offer.

The agreement came after Sturgeon hosted lengthy negotiations between local authorities body Cosla and unions at St Andrew's House on Thursday night.

Local authority leaders agreed the final terms of the new deal on Friday.

Writing on Twitter, the First Minister said: “My thanks to @COSLA @unisonscot @UniteScotland @GMBScotOrg for positive discussions yesterday.

“I’m pleased that an agreement was reached that delivers a fair pay offer for workers and the suspension of strikes pending ballots – which I hope will result in acceptance of the offer.

“The @scotgov will continue to do all we can to support workers and the country as a whole through the cost of living crisis.”

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“It’s time for the UK gov to do its job too – freeze energy bills, give more support to those struggling, and provide more funding for public services,” she added.

However, speaking to LBC, Sturgeon warned that there was “no unallocated pot of money” and so funds would have to be taken from elsewhere in the Scottish Government’s fixed budget.

“We try our best within a fixed, finite budget that is not rising with the rate of inflation. As we try our best to help people who need it most, we’re going to have to take really tough decisions," she said.

Sturgeon added that John Swinney – the Deputy First Minister also temporarily serving as Finance Secretary – would lay out the Government’s plan to parliament in the coming weeks.

Holyrood is currently in recess, but MSPs will return to the chamber from Monday, September 5.

Commenting on the averted strike action, Johanna Baxter, Unison’s head of local government, said: “This offer is a victory for Unison members.

“It has taken eight months and the industrial might of Unison members in schools and early years and waste and recycling workers to drag £600 million out of the Scottish Government and Cosla and into the pockets of hardworking people.

“Cosla originally offered 2%, then 3.5%, then 5% – we now have £600 million 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%.”

She added: “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.”