Where: Buchanan Street, Buchanan Galleries (Donald Dewar Statue), Glasgow
When: From 14.00 hours, Friday 7 August 2020
Glasgow City Council Frontline Staff Demonstrate Again In Fight For Covid-19 Payment
Glasgow City Council staff including home carers and cleansing workers will hold a socially distanced demonstration this afternoon (Friday 7 August), ramping-up calls for the Scottish Government and COSLA to recognise the sacrifices of low-paid frontline workers 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.
It follows previous actions by cleansing workers at Glasgow City Chambers a fortnight ago and the delivery of an 8,000 strong petition to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week by key workers from local government and NHS Scotland.
The latest protest takes place as fears grow among exhausted frontline staff over a possible second spike of Covid-19 infections, following the partial lockdown measures in Aberdeen just days after pictures went viral of crowded bars and restaurants.
GMB Glasgow Branch Secretary and home carer Shona Thomson said:
“Frontline workers like those in our home care have endured phenomenal levels of stress and anxiety over the last few months but just like Covid-19 that pressure hasn’t gone away.
“Let’s be clear that our members are risking their own health and safety, and their families’ too, while ensuring some of the most vulnerable people in our society are tended and safe.
“Services like home care do not have the option of working from home and a decade of cuts means that we have ploughed through this crisis with limited resources.
“We are some of the lowest paid workers in the country, we have carried that weight on our backs for nearly six months now, and that contribution simply cannot be ignored.
“While the public support we’ve received has been really appreciated, we are now looking for recognition and value from the employers and politicians that we’re quick to clap us.”
GMB Glasgow Convenor and refuse collector Chris Mitchell added:
“Frontline workers were called upon to their civic duty and have done so willingly, serving the needs of our communities while the country went into lockdown.
“But there is no sense whatsoever in a return to normality so long as this deadly virus remains a threat, and it’s a fact that we remain very vulnerable to infection as we work.
“And after a decade of cuts combined with the events of the last six months, we are like a low-paid army that’s had our resources depleted and our terms and conditions devalued.
“We can’t go back to “business as usual”, change has to happen beginning with reward and recognition and ending with proper value and respect – a payment is an important first step.
“So after the applause our message to the Scottish Government and COSLA is loud and clear, do the right thing and pay up for key workers.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Convenor in Glasgow City Council Chris Mitchell on 07468 779667 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors:
GMB Glasgow Branches will conduct one minute of applause at Buchannan Street steps at the beginning of the demonstration in recognition of the work fellow key workers have carried throughout the response to Covid-19.
GMB Health and Safety representatives will be deployed at the demonstration to ensure compliance with the public health guidelines.
The demonstration will be made up of key workers who have been working throughout the lockdown period, and anyone who feels unsafe or has underlying health conditions have been advised not to attend.