MEMBERS of one of the main unions representing council workers in Argyll and Bute, and in local authorities across Scotland, have been urged to reject a proposed pay offer.

Leaders of the Unite union announced on Tuesday that they would recommend rejection of the latest pay offer from council umbrella body Cosla.

Officials said the union's local authority committee would recommend a rejection of the Cosla proposal for a 3.5 per cent increase this year, for people earning less than £80,000, and 3 per cent rises next year and in 2020 for all staff.

The union will now hold a consultative ballot of its local authority membership on the pay offer.

The ballot will open on Monday, January 14, and will run until January 29.

The committee highlighted concerns that the deal does not include a "trigger clause" to re-open talks if Brexit leads to a rise in inflation.

They also stated that the offer does not restore local authority workers to the levels of real terms pay from 10 years ago.

Elaine Dougal, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: "Unite's local authority representatives have recommended that our membership reject the revised pay offer.

"The reality remains that even with the slight increase for 2018, it still represents a significant pay cut and does not restore us anywhere close to real terms pay levels from a decade ago.

"The committee also judged that being tied into a three-year deal in the context of all the uncertainties surrounding Brexit could in fact result in an additional pay cut if inflation rises."

Unite's local authority members previously rejected the 3 per cent pay offer by a 73 per cent margin in October.

Cosla's resources spokeswoman, Gail Macgregor said: "I am bitterly disappointed with today's decision by Unite to recommend rejection of the pay offer. Especially as it comes on the back of lengthy but constructive negotiations."