Talks avert strike action at East Dunbartonshire Council
Four days of strike action were held in June in a dispute over proposed changes to workers’ terms and conditions.
Plans for further strike action at a local authority have been withdrawn following talks between trade unions and council officials.
The Unison, Unite and GMB unions had been involved in a dispute with East Dunbartonshire Council over proposed changes to employee terms and conditions.
Four days of strike action were held in June and a fifth day of all-out action was scheduled for Wednesday September 12.
The unions announced on Monday that the planned strike has been lifted while action short of a strike has also been suspended after talks on the remaining outstanding issues.
Annual leave, overtime rates and unsocial hours payments have all been maintained and a much more realistic position has been offered on voluntary redundancy terms Unison regional organiser Simon Macfarlane
Unison and Unite said they will be consulting members over the next few weeks on a fresh package reached “after weeks of intensive negotiations”.
Simon Macfarlane, Unison regional organiser, said: “This is a tremendous position to be in given where we were last November when the council unilaterally took a decision to reduce our members’ pay and conditions.
“Spectacularly strong, colourful and vibrant strike action by the joint unions in June and solid action short of strike has led to a transformed landscape.
“Annual leave, overtime rates and unsocial hours payments have all been maintained and a much more realistic position has been offered on voluntary redundancy terms.”
Kenny Jordan, of Unite, said the residents of East Dunbartonshire will be relieved to hear that last-minute talks may have resulted in the ongoing dispute coming to an end.
Following the strike action over the summer, an alternative package was agreed over annual leave and overtime payments.
The latest move follows revised proposals on redundancy entitlements, unions said.
GMB Scotland organiser Hazel Nolan said: “Let’s be clear that this offer is still cutting by half the amount members are currently entitled to reach in terms of redundancy.
“GMB is therefore not in a position to recommend this to our members, however we acknowledge that at this time it is the best that can be achieved through negotiations.”
Joint council leader Andrew Polson said: “We committed at the outset to working with the trades unions to resolve this dispute and have entered negotiations with a firm belief that resolution was possible.
“I’m delighted that the trades unions have withdrawn strike action on September 12 and suspended their action short of strike action whilst they consult with their membership on these latest proposals.
“This breakthrough demonstrates we have been working together in good faith to reach agreement which is mutually acceptable and I’m hopeful that this can be achieved.”