The reason the Tories can justify five years of pay cuts for public service workers is simple according to UNISON’s Gordon McKay. “They don’t like you!”
“In fact it’s far deeper than that”, he said. “They despise you. Every public sector worker whether it is in the NHS, education, or local government who delivers world class public services to the ill, the young or the vulnerable is a barrier tp the selling off of these services to the Tory privatisers who see big profits there for the taking and they hate you for it.”
“The attack on public sector pay is the crudest example of the disrespect and disregard the Tories hold public services and public service workers in”, said Gordon
He was backing and EIS and PCS motion calling for a joint pay strategy across Scottish public sector unions.
Gordon told delegates that home carers are £2,500 a year worse off that they were five years ago. Early years workers are £3,000 a year worse off and 48% of NHS workers in a Scottish city are struggling every day in in-work poverty.
“These pay cuts for decent hardworking people who our communities rely on stand alongside a five year 30% pay rise for FTSE 100 chief executives. Has happened at the same time as HSBC, Vodafone and Starbucks along with many others have avoided paying their tax with the connivance of the Tory Treasury”, said Gordon.
“And it has been over the same period that the Scottish Government has lost two and a half billion pounds by a Council Tax freeze that disproportionately benefits the wealthiest.”
Gordon said UNISON is proud of its achievements in winning the Living Wage for its members in the NHS and for toploading pay awards for those most in need.
“The reality however is that our members, decent men and women, are having to maker decisions about who will go without a meal to ensure their kids get fed. What’s the best night to turn the heating off because they can’t have it on every night. And whether they can get another year out of that coat.”
“That’s Tory Britain 2015 and it is to the shame of us all”, he said.
“Public service workers deliver the lifeline services that we, our families and our communities rely on.
“If the UK and Scottish Government do not treat the people who deliver these services with dignity and pay them fairly then UNISON will give our members full support in taking industrial action, and the most effective way of achieving a successful industrial action strategy is where the unions in this hall work together.”