London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Sturgeon accused of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ over bin strike

Sturgeon accused of being ‘asleep at the wheel’ over bin strike

Scottish Tories call for first minister to focus on pay dispute that now threatens early closures of schools
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of favouring foreign trips and book festival appearances over resolving an ongoing industrial dispute that had led to rubbish piled high on the streets of Scotland’s major cities.

Talks are resuming on Friday to resolve the strikes that have left bins overflowing and piles of food waste accumulating in Edinburgh, where crowds have gathered for the August festivals.

Refuse workers in Scotland’s capital are midway through a two-week strike, as part of an almost nationwide pay dispute with local authorities, while staff across more local authorities took industrial action on Wednesday and others joined them on Friday, affecting cities including Aberdeen, Glasgow and Dundee as well as rural areas including the Highlands, Orkney and Angus.

With unions planning up to eight more days of strikes to waste services in the September, Glasgow city council announced that all primary schools, additional support needs facilities and nurseries would shut across three days early next month because of industrial action by cleaning, janitorial, catering and pupil support workers, with more councils expected to follow.

As the first minister travelled to Copenhagen on Friday to officially open the Scottish government’s Nordic office, opposition politicians questioned her commitment to resolving the disputes after she made a number of appearances at the Edinburgh festivals, with plans to interview Succession actor Brian Cox on Monday.

Sharon Dowey, the shadow minister for culture, Europe and international development for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “Once again, Nicola Sturgeon’s been caught asleep at the country’s wheel while rubbish is piling up on streets across the country.

“It’s ridiculous that she has chosen this moment to go gallivanting around northern Europe before nipping back for a spot of self-promotion at Edinburgh’s book festival. The SNP government’s role is to ensure the country runs smoothly and efficiently.”

Scottish Labour’s business manager, Neil Bibby, added: “It’s no wonder Nicola Sturgeon wants a break from Scotland’s litter-strewn streets, but most Scots don’t have that luxury. Whether she’s in Scotland or abroad, she has been missing in action this entire cost of living crisis.

“The first minister needs to fund councils properly and secure a fair deal for council workers and bring an end to this chaos, as well as using the powers she has to help Scots struggling with soaring bills.”

The three unions, Unison, Unite and GMB, have accused the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), the SNP-led umbrella group for Scotland’s 32 councils, of failing to grasp the severity of the cost of living crisis. They are urging councils to agree to a £3,000 flat-rate pay award, which they argue would significantly help lower-paid workers, rather than a percentage increase that would unfairly benefit highest paid staff.

Unite industrial officer Wendy Dunsmore said the action was a direct response to failures by Cosla and the Scottish government to appreciate the gravity of the disputes.

She said: “Unite will now deepen and spread our strike action across two thirds of the country. It’s a disgrace that schools and early years services now face closure causing further disruption to families. The politicians need to get a grip of this situation which they have let happen due to their politicking and stalling.”

While the dispute centres on local government, union officials say the Scottish government must take more responsibility for the impact of its council funding cuts. Unite officials suggested on Wednesday that the deputy first minister, John Swinney, who recently gave councils an extra £140m to help fund a better pay offer, was engaging with Cosla about ending some ringfencing to free up more funds for an improved deal.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, announced on Thursday its intention to ballot members on strike action after rejecting a 5% pay offer from Cosla.

Related Articles

London Daily
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate