The way to recover economically from the pandemic is to improve living standards and boost spending power, the STUC was told in a call for coordinated public sector pay demands if the Scottish Government doesn’t come up with fair pay deals across the sector.
Backing the motion from PCS and FDA civil service unions and the RMT, UNISON’s Brenda Aitchison pointed to UNISON Scotland’s manifesto “Essential For Recovery” as echoing the sentiments in the motion.
“Pay workers more and it is a treble win”, she said. “It lifts families out of poverty, we spend in our local economies in the very areas retail, hospitality and leisure that the Scottish Government is targeting. That in turn creates more jobs in the private sector and more workers paying tax. Unlike the super wealthy elite, we spend – no offshore accounts.”
The motion argued that the Scottish Government should be making the case for all essential and key workers, both public and private, to receive a fair pay rise.
Brenda added: “March 2020 at the first lockdown we were in a frightening situation, truly up against it, and who stepped up? Not the hedge fund managers, millionaires and billionaires, but us workers across the public and private sector. As demand for services increased we adapted both on the frontline and working from home.
“We served across the four nations in a myriad of jobs too many to mention in the national effort. Service is a simple word but one that means so much to our communities across Scotland. Now it is time to reward us.”
The STUC will also support the FDA’s ‘Equal Value Equal Worth’ campaign and call on the Scottish Government to ensure sufficient funding is allocated to the Crown Office and Fiscal service to deliver pay parity for their staff in 2021.