Frontline Workers To Tell First Minister: “After The Applause, Pay Up For Key Workers”
Public service staff will deliver a petition to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (Friday 31 July) on behalf of thousands of key workers, calling on the Scottish Government to recognise the sacrifices of those on the frontline by bringing forward a coronavirus bonus payment.
GMB Scotland members 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.
The union is citing the example of the devolved Welsh Government’s decision to award carers a £500 bonus, retailers like Tesco who have increased the basic rate of pay by 10 per cent for their staff, and the decision of the French Government to award health workers a €1,500 bonus - in addition to a further €8 billion worth of additional funding for future pay increases.
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services Drew Duffy said:
“The frontline response to the coronavirus crisis across the public sector has been largely delivered on the backs of the lowest paid – cleaners, carers, porters, refuse workers and school support staff.
“When the rest of the country went into lockdown they kept our hospitals clean, lifted our rubbish, looked after the kids of our other key workers in hub schools across Scotland, and they continue to face the crisis within a crisis that is social care.
“And while the magnificent public support they received really boosted their morale, they are rightly looking for recognition from the employers and politicians who were quick to clap them.
“Employers and governments across the UK and beyond are starting to appreciate the real value of this low-paid army and are committing to tackling the damage caused by a decade of cuts.
“If Scotland really aspires to be a nation of fair work, then the Scottish Government should do the right thing and recognise that there needs to be a reckoning on the value of these workers.
“The message is loud and clear: After the applause, pay up for our key workers. It’s the very least they deserve for everything they have done for all of us.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services Drew Duffy on 07912 560806 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services Drew Duffy will be joined by frontline staff from local government and NHS services, and will be available for media interviews.