MEMBERS of Scotland's largest union for local government workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept a new pay offer.

Unison informed Cosla that its members had voted by 91% in favour of accepting the deal after a ballot closed earlier this week.

The pay offer will deliver a 9.5% cost of living increase over three years – 3.5% in 2018/19, 3% in 2019/20 and 3% in 2020/21.

It also provides a commitment to fully consolidating the living wage, Unison said.

An agreement was reached for pay to be backdated to April 1 last year.

Johanna Baxter, Unison's head of local government in Scotland, said: "This is a great outcome, delivered as a direct result of the campaigning activity and political lobbying efforts of Unison members up and down the country.

"The cost of living increases meet current and projected levels of RPI (retail price index) and we have secured commitments to fully consolidate the living wage and maintain parity across the local government workforce.

"Our members have been waiting on a pay increase for over a year now, so look forward to receiving their increase soon."

Mark Ferguson, chairman of Unison's local government committee in Scotland, added: "Unison has campaigned hard to get the best deal we can for local government workers.

"While the offer does not make up for the many years of austerity, the offer – and particularly the commitment to consolidate the living wage – provides important safeguards for our lowest paid members.

"We will work to ensure this is properly delivered and local government workers will now receive backdated money in their pay packets in coming months."

Councillor Gail Macgregor, resources spokeswoman for local government umbrella organisation Cosla, said: "I am absolutely delighted with today's announcement that Unison members have signalled their overwhelming support for this deal.

"This is a result of the determination on both sides to reach an agreement.

"We await the outcome of the other trade union ballots and look forward to moving on to the next stage in this negotiation."