COUNCIL care workers could strike the day before the General Election after rejecting a pay offer they say is "too late and too low".

Carers across Scotland's local authorities represented by GMB Scotland are voting on industrial action, with the first possible day of walkouts being July 3.

It comes after GMB Scotland's local government committee rejected a 2.2% wage increase effective from April 1 to September 30, and a 2% increase for a 12-month period starting on 1 October.

READ NEXT: International Criminal Court 'biased' against Israel says Glasgow MSP

Workers voted to reject the offer on Friday.

The care workers were already voting on industrial action if there was no acceptable offer with the ballot due to close on June 19.

Councils must be given two weeks' notice for strike action, meaning the first walkout could be the day before the election.

A ballot of the union's 20,000 members working for Scottish councils had already backed industrial action if there was no acceptable offer.

GMB Scotland believes other public service unions will follow suit and will also take action.

Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland secretary, said: "This election like all the others is about promises of a better tomorrow but those promises do not pay our members' bills today.

"Our councils have suffered years of underfunding as services are cut while our members come under intolerable pressure to paper over the cracks.

"No party ever promised those cuts in an election manifesto but their impact is being felt across the country.

"Our communities are built on the services delivered by council workers. Those services must be valued and protected and so must the workers".

READ NEXT: Tory leader Douglas Ross says he's 'coming for the SNP' 

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser in public services, warned a summer of strikes seems inevitable but could still be averted if workers are approached with a better pay offer.

He said: "The pay offer is too late and too low. The delay was unacceptable and the offer is unacceptable.

"It means council workers in Scotland being offered less than colleagues in England and Wales and it raises grave concerns about councils' commitment to pay all workers £15 an hour by 2026 as they promised last year.

"We do not need any more empty promises and excuses.

"We need council leaders and the Scottish Government to find a way of paying our members fairly."

He added: "Inflation might be slowing but bills continue to rise and workers and their families are still being crushed by the cost of living.

"The work of care workers could not be more important or more valued and, if they support industrial action, they will begin a summer of industrial action that could easily have been avoided."

A spokesperson for Cosla said it presented the care workers with a "good offer" when taking into account inflation as well as "funding restraints" faced by local authorities.

The spokesperson added: "We are disappointed that industrial action is being contemplated by our unions and concerned that it appears to be targeted at the most vulnerable service users.

"We remain committed to doing the best by our workforce who deliver essential local services in every community across Scotland and understand our trade unions seeking the best deal possible, but this year's settlement from Scottish Government means that going any further will mean job losses and service cuts".

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "Local government pay negotiations are a matter for local authorities, as employers, and unions - the Scottish Government has no formal role.

"The Scottish Government urges all parties involved to work together constructively and reach an agreement which is fair for the workforce and affordable for employers".