Waste collection strikes across Ayrshire next week have been suspended after a new pay offer was put forward.

East, North and South Ayrshire were all set to be hit bystrikes starting on September 6, after unions knocked back several pay offers for their workers.

Offers of 2 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 5 per cent were all turned down.

Now a 'credible' offer has been put forward by local government umbrella body Cosla, which includes a flat rate fully consolidated offer of £2,000 for those earning up to £20,500.

This is the equivalent to an increase of around 10-11 per cent for the lowest paid employees, who are estimated to be around 18 per cent of the total workforce. 

The offer is consolidated into overtime, allowances and pensions.

It also includes a £1,925 flat rate offer which is fully consolidated for those earning between £20,500 and up to £39,000.

This is the equivalent to an increase of 8 per cent for those earning around £24,000. The offer would also be backdated to April.

Services across East and South Ayrshire had already been hit last week due to the pay dispute, involving members of the Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions.

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite’s lead negotiator for local government, welcomed the new offer, saying: “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 £2000 which is an uplift worth around 10-11 per cent.

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

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland's senior organiser for public services, added: "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.” 

Johanna Baxter, Unison's head of local government, said: “This offer is a victory for  Unison members.  It has taken 8 months and the industrial might of  Unison members in schools and early years and waste and recycling workers to drag £600m out of Scottish government and COSLA and into the pockets of hard-working people. 

"Cosla originally offered 2%, then 3.5%, then 5% - we now we have £600m on the table, which is a 7.5% increase to the total pay bill, and 87% of our council workers will receive fully consolidated increases between 5% to 10%. 

"Unison wants to get this money into the pockets of council workers now while we continue the campaign to support people through the cost of living crisis."

Katie Hagmann, resources spokesman for Cosla, thanked the trade unions for “constructive discussions”.

She added: “The revised offer made shows that Scotland’s council leaders have listened to the concerns of our workforce and have responded positively.

“Council leaders have said consistently throughout these negotiations that we very much value and are grateful to the local government workforce.

“We have sent letters to our union colleagues following today’s meeting and hope that this enables strike action to be suspended, and allows our workforce to get back to doing what they do best, delivering high quality essential services for the people within our communities right across Scotland.”