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Council Workers Parliament Demo As Fight For “Key Worker Payment” Continues

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Council Workers To Hold Parliament Demo As Fight For “Key Worker Payment” Continues

GMB members from across Scottish local government will hold a small, socially distanced demonstration at the Scottish Parliament today (Thursday 1 October) as low-paid frontline workers continue their campaign for a “key worker” bonus payment.

Council workers, including carers, bin collectors and school cleaners, are campaigning for a £2 an hour additional payment for every hour worked during the lockdown, a figure that would deliver a retrospective payment of as little as £85 extra per week on the basic rate of pay for frontline staff, many of whom earn just under or over £10 an hour.

They will again call on the First Minister to “pay up for key workers” having previously submitted an 8,000 strong petition to her in July, and to recognise the sacrifices our key workers have made and will continue to make, as the country faces a fraught autumn and winter with COVID again on the rise.

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy said:

“While workers that can will work from home again, our key workers will continue to go the extra mile. The least the First Minister can do is recognise and reward their incredible value to our communities and country.

“However, the bulk of the frontline response will continue to be delivered on the backs of low paid and often exploited workers, many of whom are women or from BME backgrounds, and earn just under or just over £10 an hour.

“After the applause of the first lockdown, many workers have been left to get on with it, and in some cases the working practices put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID are being eroded by employers who want to get “back to normal”.

“This shouldn’t sit comfortably with anyone who wants Scotland to be a ‘fair work’ nation and as we head into what looks like a turbulent autumn and winter, where the threat of COVID is rising again, we cannot ignore our frontline heroes. 

“Claps and kind words are welcomed but they won’t improve the conditions of the chronically low-paid or help their families in these tough times, and that’s why we are again asking the First Minister to pay up for our key workers.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services Drew Duffy on 07912 560806 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.   


Notes to Editors:


“Frontline workers to tell First Minister: “After the applause, pay up for key workers”, GMB Scotland Press Release, Friday 31 July 2020, accessible at: