Unison members working for Dumfries and Galloway Council will be balloted on the pay offer received from Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) – see inset.
But their union is recommending rejection of the offer and a move to industrial action.
Unison bosses have pointed out that local government staff have been providing essential, preventative and life saving services throughout the pandemic, with many working extra hours and in difficult circumstances.
And they believe they should be treated the same as NHS workers when it comes to pay increases.
Regional branch chairman Phil McGroggan said “The offer made by COSLA was simply lifted from the Scottish Government’s announced, “Public Sector Pay Policy” and presented to our members. A pay policy that the Scottish Government breached when they offered a pay rise of four per cent to colleagues in the NHS backdated to 1st December 2020.
“So why are local government workers not entitled to a 16 month four per cent pay increase in-line with health colleagues?
“Our members have delivered community wellbeing all through this pandemic, helping to prevent ill health. We work along with the NHS and in some instances alongside, but we have been overlooked, cheapened.”
Mr McGroggan says local authority staff are being ‘devalued’ by COSLA and the Scottish Government and wants them to also get a £500 bonus payment, like in the NHS, and added: “There were no criteria set for NHS workers who were rewarded with a £500 bonus, if you were an NHS employee you received the payment.
“Local government did not stop providing services to the public. In Dumfries and Galloway, the need for our services was not reduced, it was monumentally increased.
“So why are local government workers not rewarded with a £500 payment for delivering and continuing to deliver vital services?”