03 Aug 2022 - 06:36:39
215 Posts
Is Scotland facing a summer of discontent?

Talks are due to take place on Wednesday after Scottish councils called for additional government funding so they can offer staff a bigger pay rise.

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Local authorities are facing the prospect of strikes unless there is an improved offer, and the Scottish government says it is working with council body Cosla to explore options for solutions.

Recent months have seen several other disputes over pay and conditions. Is Scotland facing a summer of discontent?

Rail drivers and signallers, BT telecom and Royal Mail employees, airport workers and cabin crew, supermarket workers, bus drivers and university lecturers, even lawyers in criminal courts - the striker has become a symbol of 2022.

Many more could be set to follow in their path, including a wide range of local government workers. One of their main unions, Unison, is planning to disrupt schools, early years centres, nurseries and waste and recycling centres across Scotland.

Scottish teachers lodged a 10% pay claim, before realising that price inflation could rise even higher. There is union talk of a strike ballot when the summer holiday is over.

Firefighters say a 2% pay offer is "insulting" and are also talking up strike action, while Scottish nurses close their strike ballot this Thursday.

Scottish police officers will have more to say the following day about stepping up their "withdrawal of goodwill", while they lack the legal right to strike.

Another symbol of this year was the video call sacking of P&O ferry crews, with their replacements hired on much weaker contracts.

It was a powerful image of the way some employers treat staff, and reinforced public support for trade unions at the very moment that price inflation was about to take off, leaving most pay increases struggling far behind.

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