SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) is in line for more than £3m in funding to go towards pay settlements for local government workers and teachers.

The local authority this week received a letter from Deputy First Minister John Swinney revealing the additional funding to help provide a “meaningful pay offer” to staff delivering frontline services.

It is hoped the extra cash will lead to a ‘swift agreement’ in the pay negotiations with a proposed 5.5 per cent pay offer to council staff – matching that which is currently on the table for teachers.

But with further strike action by teachers looming, a resolution to the pay negotiations is far from ‘done and dusted’, members of SBC were informed when they met this week.

Mid Berwickshire councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for service delivery and transformation, said: “Pay is incredibly complex. I am privileged to be a member of the Scottish Joint Council (SJC), which deliberate and negotiate with our representative unions on pay. We met yesterday and those negotiations are under way and there’s a recommendation going to Cosla’s (Confederation of Scottish Local Authorities) leaders meeting.

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“Whilst this funding is a helpful contribution members need to be under no misapprehension that this is done and dusted. Although the additional funds for pay are really welcome, we don’t know what the result of the negotiations are going to be.

"We are entering them enthusiastically, we recognise that our staff are our most valuable resource and at the heart of what this council and every other council does and we recognise that the pressures are huge so I think it’s going to be some time before we come back to council to give you a fuller understanding of what the implications of this modest amount of extra resources will be.”

Galashiels SNP councillor Fay Sinclair said: “I welcome this funding. Councillor Rowley mentioned it being modest but I think over £3m is a significant sum.

"I just hope we can go forward with negotiations, particularly noting there will be further strike action next week, and hope for a resolution soon.”