Trade unions have warned “waste could pile high” in East Renfrewshire as council workers stage a walkout over a “shameful” pay offer.

Members of the GMB and Unison are to go on strike over a two per cent increase offered by Cosla, which represents Scotland’s local authorities.

Staff at schools and cleansing departments are among those due to down tools, with dates yet to be confirmed.

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland’s senior organiser, said: “Unless ministers and Cosla make a significantly improved pay offer for the consultation of our members then strike action is happening across these vital services.

“The two per cent that’s already been massively rejected is a shameful proposal. It’s worth less than a tenner a week extra for those earning £25,000 or under and it will turn a cost-of-living crisis into a catastrophe for many workers and their families.

“Two years ago, these workers were applauded on the doorstep by political leaders but now they are being told to suffer massive real terms pay cuts ahead of a brutal winter, with forecasts of double-digit inflation and energy bills over £3,000.

“Our members are angry and scared and the prospect of tens of thousands of council workers falling into the growing ranks of the working poor is not something GMB is prepared to leave unchallenged.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Ministers note and respect the results of the local government industrial action ballots.

“Local government workers play a crucial role in our communities and are integral to our recovery from the pandemic.

“Although the Scottish Government has no formal role in the national, local government pay negotiations, both the government and Cosla are working to jointly explore all of the options available to find solutions.

“In the meantime, the Scottish Government urges all parties to continue dialogue and seek a resolution which avoids industrial action.”

A Cosla spokesperson added: “Cosla leaders are clear that they value hugely the local government workforce, which is why discussions with our trade union colleagues continue in order to reach an agreement and avoid strike action.

“As employers, we have a responsibility to ensure that any pay deal offered is both sustainable and affordable and that is why we are unable to go beyond the current offer at this point.”