West Dunbartonshire's council leader has called for a better pay offer to staff to head off strike action.

The Unison and Unite unions voted for strike across in local authorities across Scotland. But West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) workers didn't meet the 50 per cent threshold required.

Yet council leader Martin Rooney urged the Scottish Government to make staff a better offer.

But the government said it was nothing to do with them.

Councillor Rooney said their staff had endure "hardship" with pay offers that didn't match expectations.

He said: "Over time the value of their pay has been eroded.

“Lots of hard working families are struggling to make ends meet, they are really worried about being able to pay their bills, especially household energy bills and many can’t afford to go on strike and lose a day’s pay as it plunges them further into crisis.

“Our council staff don’t want to take industrial action. They would much rather be at their work carrying out the professional jobs they are trained to do. Taking industrial action which disrupts vital public services to local people is always the last resort for council workers. However, the cost of living crisis has worsened this and for many it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back.

'Pay helps cost-of-living crisis'

“I want our staff to get a decent pay rise that actually helps them to manage during the cost-of-living crisis. Apart from the fact that they deserve it for the work they do, paying our staff decent wages gives them more to spend on local goods and services, supporting businesses and jobs, so the whole community benefits from this.

“Unfortunately, the council's primary funding comes from the Scottish Government, so councils don’t have enough resources to fully fund a cost of living pay offer. We need additional funding from the Scottish Government so that, we in turn can offer our staff a reasonable pay offer which reflects the cost pressures they face.

“There’s still time to make an improved pay offer and to avoid the need for the planned industrial action.

“If councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can give all their staff a flat rate uplift which for those on the lowest wages means a 10.5 per cent increase, then why can’t we get the funding to do that as well."

A spokesperson said: “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. As mandated by Leaders, we are currently in discussions with the Scottish Government and await their response to leaders’ request for additional funding.”

'Government cannot intervene'

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Pay settlements for council workers - excluding teachers - are a matter for Cosla and are determined through negotiations at the Scottish Joint Committee (SJC).

"As it is not a member of the SJC, the Scottish Government cannot directly intervene in pay negotiations, which are for the trade unions to negotiate with Cosla.

"The Scottish Government urges all parties to continue dialogue and seek a resolution which avoids industrial action."