GLASGOW bin workers could go on strike in July in a dispute over pay, it has been announced.

Trade union Unite has served industrial action notices to 29 councils and confirmed that it will ballot thousands of its members in cleansing and waste services from June 5 until July 1.

Meanwhile, GMB will also open a ballot for its cleansing workers on June 5. 

If the ballots for industrial action are successful, strike action could begin from July.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Our members undertake vital frontline jobs. Despite the essential work they do, they have seen their pay eroded for years, they are simply no longer prepared to tolerate this situation.

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“COSLA and the Scottish government have been warned that they must do far more to meet the pay aspirations of our members. The blame for any strike action taking place will lie at their doors.

“We will back our members all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions in local government.”

Last Friday (May 24), Unite confirmed that its local government representatives had rejected outright a formal pay offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (COSLA).

The only councils not involved in Unite’s ballot process are Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, and the Orkney Islands.

Graham McNab, Unite industrial officer, said: “Unite has now served industrial action notices to nearly every council in Scotland. If the ballots are successful, then our members in cleansing and waste services could begin strike action from July. Any action could impact on major summer events.

“Let’s be clear that COSLA and the Scottish government must come back to us with a significantly revised pay offer, if they do not, then our members will have no option but to take action.”

A GMB spokesperson said: “Our members have already been forced to wait far too long for an offer that is not close to being acceptable.

“It is deeply frustrating council workers are once again being driven to industrial action to secure a fair offer and the blame for that lies squarely with council leaders and ministers.

“Why has so much time been wasted? Why are council leaders not already in serious discussions with unions and the Scottish Government about how to fund a fair offer.

“Why on earth should our members in Scotland accept an offer that is less than that being offered to council colleagues in England?”

A COSLA Spokesperson said:  “COSLA wrote to the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) Trade Unions on Thursday, May, 23 with a formal pay offer for the SJC Local Government workforce. This offer is for a settlement which runs for an 18-month period of April 1, 2024, to September 30, 2025. There would be a 2.2% uplift from 1 April, with a further 2% uplift taking effect from October 1. We believe that this is a good offer in the context of inflation and the funding constraints faced by councils.

“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.”