Thousands of frontline workers at East Renfrewshire Council are expected to reject this year’s pay offer and ballot for strike action.

Staff such as cleaners, carers and refuse collectors have been offered a rise of between one and two per cent.

However, leaders of the three main unions say this is unacceptable, given the vital work done by council employees during the Covid pandemic.

Unison, Unite and the GMB, which represent around 3,500 council employees, are recommending rejection of the pay offer, to be followed by industrial action.

Staff earning under £25,000 are being offered a two per cent pay rise or £800, whichever is the greater.

All those on a salary of between £25,000 and £40,000 have been offered two per cent, while those earning between £40,000 and £80,000 are in line for one per cent.

Employees who are paid more than £80,000 would receive no increase under the current offer from local authority umbrella organisation Cosla.

Those being balloted include staff at East Renfrewshire Council and East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure.

Unison, which has around 2,000 members in these organisations, is making plans for industrial action.

Steven Larkin, the union’s branch secretary in East Renfrewshire, said: “The wage offer is a slap in the face to our members.

“Council workers are looking at other areas of public services, like the NHS and prison staff, getting more money.

“The current pay offer does not sit well, which is why we are balloting our members and recommending they reject the offer.”

All three unions are looking for increases of six per cent or £2,000, which ever is the greater.

Unison’s ballot on the pay offer is due to begin on Monday, April 12, and end on Wednesday, April 28.

Mr Larkin said: “No-one wants to take industrial action but we’re are asking Cosla and the council leaders what they’re prepared to do to avoid it.”

A Cosla spokesperson said: “We have made an offer to our trade union colleagues.

“This offer remains on the table whilst we continue with ongoing constructive negotiations.”

A spokesperson for East Renfrewshire Council added: “Pay awards are agreed at a national level via Cosla and discussions are ongoing.”