Wage demand

Public sector workers want ‘train driver pay rises’

Nicola Sturgeon pensive
Nicola Sturgeon is facing demands for higher pay (pic: Terry Murden)

A quarter of a million council workers in Scotland, together with teaching and health staff, are agitating for higher pay deals after train drivers were offered a rise that would bust the government’s 2.2% ceiling.

ScotRail, now part of the public sector, has made a 4.2% offer to train drivers union Aslef that could be worth up to between 5% and 9% with various add-ons.

Cosla, the umbrella body that represents local authorities, referenced the proposed deal with rail workers during a meeting on Friday.

Council leaders backed a Labour amendment to write to the First minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, demanding a better offer for their members.

It said: “Leaders further note the current rate of inflation at over 9 per cent, the enhanced pay offer of 4.2 per cent made to rail workers and the likelihood of industrial action by local government trade unions in the absence of a significantly increased pay offer.

“Leaders believe that council workers deserve a significant pay increase and that this should be funded by the Scottish government.”

Our story on Thursday

Teachers have already rejected the offer of a 2% rise and warned of ballots for industrial action if a “fair pay settlement” is not achieved.

Union chiefs have also warned that other school staff, care home workers and refuse collectors could all be balloted for industrial action unless there was immediate action on local authority pay.

The call for higher pay offers comes as the Scottish government seeks to plug a £3.5bn hole in the public finances, with the prospect of higher taxes or cuts to services.

Scots face higher taxes or cuts to plug £3.5bn gap

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