A "SIGNIFICANTLY improved" pay offer will be made in the hope it'll be enough to avert next week's school strikes.

Fife Council leader David Ross attended a meeting of COSLA leaders this morning and told councillors that the unions will be asked to suspend their industrial action.

Janitors, cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants and administrative staff are set to walk out which will close schools on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

Cllr Ross told today's full council meeting: "I apologise for my lateness this morning, I've been attending a special meeting of the COSLA leaders group to discuss the pay dispute with the SJC (Scottish Joint Council for local government employees) unions.

"The group leaders and presidential team met with the deputy first minister (Shona Robison) yesterday afternoon to discuss additional funding that could be re-prioritised to enhance an offer.

Dunfermline Press: Fife Council leader David Ross said a 'significantly improved' pay offer will be made today.Fife Council leader David Ross said a 'significantly improved' pay offer will be made today. (Image: Fife Council)

"I'm pleased to say that leaders have agreed an offer to be made to the SJC unions today.

"It remains to be seen whether the unions will take that offer to the members but we are hopeful as it is a significantly improved offer."

COSLA's last pay offer, made last Friday, was rejected with Unite, Unison and GMB Scotland all criticising the "measly" rise.

Unite set a deadline of 5pm today (Thursday) for an improved offer to be made.

Cllr Ross continued: "I'm not in a position to give the details of that offer at the moment but it is a significantly improved offer and we are very hopeful.

"They will be asked to suspend the strike action that's planned for next week in our schools.

"So I think that's good news, as far as it goes. It's a step in the right direction."

After rejecting the most recent pay offer, Unite slammed COSLA for taking 23 weeks to offer the lowest paid council workers an extra 38p per week, or £20 per year.

It said for those on the lowest pay, it represented an increase of just one pence per hour, effective from 1 January 2024.