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Dumfries and Galloway council and health staff gearing up for summer of strike action

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Council workers and health service staff are gearing up for a summer of strike action.The Unison and Unite unions have warned of a series of walkouts in disputes over pay.And they are calling on the Scottish Government to intervene and resolve the situation.Unison, which represents council workers, took the fight for better pay to the door of the management side in the dispute.Representatives gathered outside the COSLA Convention in Edinburgh to call on the newly-elected officers to ensure pay is at the top of their agenda.Unison, Scotland’s largest public service union, is currently balloting members for strike action.Officials have warned strikes will see schools closed and rubbish piling up on the streets.

Johanna Baxter, the union’s head of local government, said: “Unison urges Scotland’s council leaders to join their workforce in a call to the Scottish Government to properly fund councils and allow meaningful talks on pay to progress.“We cannot forget who got us through the pandemic – it was local government workers who were educating our children, cleaning our streets, caring for our most vulnerable and burying our dead throughout the pandemic.“Local government workers keep society running and they all deserve a fair pay rise.”A COSLA spokesperson said: “We remain in active discussions with our trade union partners.”Meanwhile, Unite has confirmed its health sector representatives will be recommending the rejection of the Scottish Government’s five per cent NHS pay offer.The union said the offer represents a “substantial” pay cut as the cost of living soars and will consult members on rejecting the offer and on a potential industrial action ballot throughout July.Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s

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