IN recent weeks I’ve visited most of the council’s main cleansing depots, discussing with staff the current challenges of the service and the demands of a city of Glasgow’s scale and complexity. It was an opportunity to hear from the frontline staff their views on the future of this vital frontline service and their roles within it.  

Conversations were constructive, sometimes frank but always cordial. I believe we all appreciated the chance to have an exchange of opinion.   

On each visit I stressed the City Government’s appreciation of their efforts through the most challenging episode in Glasgow’s peacetime modern history. And I made clear my view that, as such, I believe they should be financially rewarded. 


The GMB, which represents very many of the cleansing workers, has balloted its members for industrial action over pay and they have passed the threshold to strike. 

They are perfectly entitled to take action and both myself and the City Government support fully the rights of organised labour. 

Every year we have difficult negotiations over local government pay but this year follows 18 months when many staff have been on the frontline, keeping our city and its citizens safe and secure. 

I have made my views on local government pay increases known to members of the Scottish Government and will continue to do so. 

For local authorities to deliver what is needed by our staff, it requires national government to get behind us. 

Glasgow Times: Chris Mitchell of the GMB is involved in discussions Chris Mitchell of the GMB is involved in discussions

As we come out of the pandemic our services are stretched but the demands of a city like Glasgow, or indeed any local authority, haven’t been put on pause. Our citizens need us to continue to deliver these vital, sometimes lifeline, public services. 

And after the year-and-a-half where they have gone above and beyond, I believe that many within local government have made a compelling case to be financially rewarded as those in other parts of the public sector have. 

I sincerely hope that the national pay negotiations conclude with a resolution which benefits staff, our services and the Scottish public.

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