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Unions warn against five-year pay freeze

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Union leaders have hit out at possible plans by council leaders to impose a five-year pay freeze on Scottish council workers.

Union representatives are due to meet the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in advance of formal negotiations for future pay increases.

They claim leaked discussion documents suggest pay could be frozen for up to five years as a response to the current recession.

Matt Smith, Unison’s Scottish secretary warned COSLA to “back off” on the idea of a prolonged pay freeze.

“COSLA leaders would be well advised to back off from any decision to freeze pay at all, far less for five years,” he said.

“Knee jerk reaction to financial difficulties is no way to run local government. Council leaders should talk to staff trade unions about funding, council tax and business rates rather than threatening their staff.”

The previous pay agreement of a two-year deal ended with the award of 2.5% in April this year.

A COSLA spokesman said:  “We note Unison’s comments are based on a leaked report. COSLA’s policy is never to comment on leaked reports as they can often be inaccurate.”

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