Public service workers march on Holyrood for fair pay

Public sector workers along with their families and friends will march and rally later today (Saturday) in Edinburgh in support of fair pay for everyone working in Scotland’s schools, local councils, police forces and hospitals.

The march will assemble from 11am in Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, and set off down the Edinburgh’s Royal Mile at 11.45am. The rally, outside the Scottish Parliament, will be addressed by Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON.

The event is part of UNISON’s Pay Up Now! Campaign, which is keeping pressure on both the Scottish and Westminster governments to end the pay cap and give all workers a decent pay rise.

Public service employees have seen their pay held back right across the UK for almost a decade. Public sector pay rose by just 4.4% between 2010 and 2016, while the cost of living rose by 22%.

Lillian Macer, convener of UNISON Scotland said: “While we welcome the Scottish government scrapping the pay cap, there is still much more to do. Public sector workers play a vital role in our communities, looking after us by keeping us safe, healthy, educated, and cared for.

“We can’t accept the end of a 1% pay cap to just implement another pay cap. Public sector workers need pay rises at least in line with inflation and recognition of the pay they have lost for the last decade.”

Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON said: “The UK and Scottish governments are now under real pressure to give all public service workers a decent pay rise. Employees across our public services have had their pay held back for far too long.

“Classroom assistants, care workers, hospital cleaners and police clerks need a wage rise above the rate of inflation, so they can recoup some of the pay they’ve lost over the past few years.

“Any pay rises need to be properly funded so they don’t mean deeper cuts to jobs and services elsewhere. There must be no selective lifting of the cap for some public servants but not for others. All public sector employees, no matter where they work or what job they do, need and deserve a decent pay rise now.”

• Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON UK, will be available for interview on 7 October, from 10.30am, Johnston Terrace Edinburgh and around noon at Scottish Parliament
• UNISON is the biggest union in the UK, representing workers across the public sector and in private companies, where public sector contracts have been outsourced.
• More information on Pay Up Now campaign page

UNISON Contacts
• Dave Watson, head of policy and public affairs, 07958 122409
• Mark Ferguson, to speak to Dave Prentis, 07545 312954
• Danny Phillips, communications officer, 07944 664110