STRIKES in education and waste services across Scotland have been suspended after three trade unions said they would put a new pay offer to members.

GMB and Unite have joined Unison in suspending strike action, which has recommended members accept a new offer from council leaders.

Members in waste services and non-teaching roles in education were due to walk out next week but marathon talks chaired by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon resulted in an offer that could end the risk of strikes.

GMB and Unite have also recommended the offer be accepted by members.

The offer will give a £2,000 increase to staff earning less than £20,500, a £1,925 increase to those earning between £20,500 and £60,000, and a £3,000 maximum increase for earners over that threshold.

Unison said the pay envelope was increased to £600 million after talks with the First Minister, who had previously ruled out such an increase.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite’s lead negotiator for local government, said: “After the latest round of intensive talks, a new credible offer has finally been put on the table by Cosla. Unite wants to acknowledge the First Minister’s direct involvement as a primary reason for the breakthrough.

“The offer on the table is fully consolidated and as such there will be more cash in the pot going forward for local government workers. It provides a degree of security for the lowest paid, with a flat rate offer of £2,000, which is an uplift worth around 10 to 11%.

“We now have a credible offer which our local government representatives can recommend to the membership for acceptance.”

Keir Greenaway, senior organiser for public services for the GMB, said: “GMB has been very clear that more must be done for the lowest paid in local government and this latest offer delivers a significant amount of consolidated money for these workers, including the frontline refuse and schools’ staff that everyone depends on.

“It’s not a perfect offer but it is the view of GMB Scotland’s local government committee that it’s worthy of members’ consultation and their acceptance, but ultimately our members whose campaigning and strike actions have improved these terms will have the final say.

“In the meantime, we have agreed to suspend all planned strike action so this consultation process can take place and our GMB organisers and workplace reps will be visiting as many workplaces as possible to engage our members on this.

“Most importantly, we want to pay tribute to our members. Strike action is not easy, it requires sacrifice and solidarity to deliver outcomes that make work better, and they have fought long and hard for an improved offer to help confront this cost-of-living crisis.”