FIFE COUNCIL is braced for possible strike action from their workforce over pay.

School staff, bin collectors and home care workers could be among those to walk out after three trade unions said they were preparing to ballot their members.

Unite said local authorities in Scotland should take immediate action to improve pay or see strikes this summer.

The council's head of HR, Sharon McKenzie, confirmed that the authority was aware of ​​ongoing national discussions on ​pay and the potential for industrial action.

"Should the prospect of local action arise, we will assess the impact this would have on our services in Fife ​to minimise the effect of this locally," she added.

"COSLA are continuing to negotiate with trade unions on behalf of councils across Scotland."

Unite, Unison and the GMB unions have accused the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) – which acts as an employers' association – of "lack of respect" over negotiation failures.

Unite said it was preparing to ballot selected groups of members in all 32 Scottish councils, in schools, cleansing and home care, as early as next month.

General secretary Sharon Graham added: “Unite’s members across local government in Scotland have had enough of year-on-year pay freezes and cuts, which is why we are getting battle-ready to deliver the pay rise they deserve."

Public services union Unison said an indicative ballot of local authority staff revealed an "incredible" 89.8 per cent voted in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action over an "unacceptable" pay offer.

Unite said a similar ballot showed a "massive" 91 per cent were prepared to take industrial action.

The three unions, who represent 200,000 local government workers across Scotland, have written to COSLA to say that councils had failed to come up with an acceptable pay offer for workers whose pay had been "held down for too many years".

The issue is around a proposed two per cent pay rise with a 20p increase in the minimum hourly wage at £9.98 – 8p more than the real Living Wage. Unions have pointed out that inflation is currently running at seven per cent.

Unite accused COSLA leaders, who voted against making a further pay offer recently, of having “zero backbone” in standing up for local government workers and demanding more financial support from the Scottish Government.