Sturgeon forced into emergency talks amid school and bin strikes

Nicola Sturgeon slammed for 'abandoning Scotland' during strike

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The First Minister will personally intervene in talks with local authority leaders and unions. This comes amid mass strikes across council services in Scotland. Hundreds of schools are set to close when staff walk out over their pay.

Meanwhile, waste collection strikes have left rubbish piling up across Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to meet council leaders in St Andrew’s House today.

She will then meet with union reps.

This is the first time the First Minister has become directly involved in the dispute between councils and their workforce.

Hitting out at Ms Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “Breaking News! The Edinburgh Festival is over so Nicola Sturgeon now has time to deal with the mess she’s made of Scotland…”

Councillor Katie Hagmann, COSLA resources spokesperson, said the council remains “in intense active discussions with our trade union colleagues”.

The Scottish government has not confirmed the First Minister’s position, or what she plans to suggest to try and end the industrial action.

Waste service staff walked out in more than 20 councils from August 18 in a pay dispute.

Refuse collections around Scotland are restarting today, as the first wave of strikes by council bin workers comes to an end.

The walkout ended in Edinburgh on Tuesday, but rubbish continued to pile up in 13 other Scottish council areas, including Glasgow and Aberdeen.

There is set to be further strikes in 19 council areas across Scotland from September 6 to September 13.

Public Health Scotland warned of a human health risk from overflowing waste.

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It advised councils to decontaminate areas where bins have overflowed.

Glasgow City Council said it would start to collect waste across the city from today.

But it warned residents that there would a “significant delay” to all collections because of the extensive backlog.

Meanwhile, City of Edinburgh Council announced further changes to its bin collection schedule as the clear-up operation continues.

It urged residents to help the waste collection effort by storing extra waste for a “little longer”.

On Monday, Unite, the GMB and Unison confirmed that further strikes would be held after rejecting an increased pay offer from the council.

The second wave of strikes is due to begin on September 6, with hundreds of schools and nurseries also set to close from September 6 to September 8.

The SNP has been approached for comment.

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