Page last updated at 23:19 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 00:19 UK

Hopes of quick end to pay dispute

As council workers across the country take part in the second 24-hour strike over pay in two months, BBC Scotland's news website spoke to those affected by the dispute.

THE COUNCIL WORKER
Shirley Buchanan
Shirley Buchanan has been celebrating her 60th birthday on the picket line
Shirley Buchanan, an admin assistant at Glasgow City Council, will be celebrating her 60th birthday while taking part in the strike.

"It will be something to remember it by," she said. "When people ask me how I spent my 60th, I'll be able to say I was on the picket line."

She has been involved in a number of strikes during her 20 years as a council employee, but thinks this dispute is one of the worst.

"I think it's more serious because of the current rate of inflation," she said. "No one has extra money.

"Prices are shooting up daily. Food, fuel, everything is going up except our wages."

Ms Buchanan said low-paid female workers were suffering most.

She said: "They have families to support and they've got a pay rise that's the equivalent of just 42p a week."

Ms Buchanan said she believed she had no choice but to take part in the strike.

"It's a big thing for anyone to get involved in strike action, but it's the only way to get employers round the table," she said.

"I would take part in strike action again if necessary, but hopefully it won't come to that. There will be selective action over the next few weeks and that should help to resolve it."

THE COUNCILLOR
Picture courtesy of Undiscovered Scotland
The Corran Ferry will be cancelled because of the strike

The Corran Ferry between Nether Lochaber and Ardgour will be cancelled because of the strike. Highland councillor Dr Michael Foxley said this would cause major disruption.

He said: "It's not an absolutely essential lifeline, but it does save people a 43-mile round-trip around a loch.

"If you're a business from the west you just won't travel in that day because it will take three hours.

"It will also affect children attending the local high school, and access to medical services."

Dr Foxley said he could see both sides of the dispute.

He said: "I can understand the concern, the offer of 2.5% is below the rate of inflation, but Highland council has a funding gap of 20m. It's facing the biggest budget problems in 20 years.

"The main comment I get from people is that they want this resolved as soon as possible.

"A lot of workers are losing a day's pay, which has a major impact on earnings - particularly for low paid and part-time workers.

"And the cost of strike action is considerable. It's estimated one day costs the council 500,000."




SEE ALSO
Council workers in strike action
23 Sep 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
How council strike will affect you
23 Sep 08 |  Scotland

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