Responding to the amended Scottish Budget with improvements in public sector pay policy, expanded access to free school meals and additional payments to less well-off households, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“We have strongly pressed the Scottish Government to reject the real terms pay cuts approach of the Tories at Westminster and we recognise the different course that the Finance Secretary has taken on Public Sector Pay Policy in Scotland. We welcome the Scottish Greens’ intervention to press for a better deal for public sector workers, the expansion of free school meal to all primary children and additional payments to poorer households.
“But revising public sector pay policy is less than half of the story. We remain deeply concerned that pay commitments must be funded across the public sector. Local councils continue to be starved of funding despite delivering so many of our essential public services and with so many workers who deliver those services being underpaid and undervalued.
“Nowhere is this more the case than for our social care workers in the public, third and private sectors. The Cabinet Secretary indicated that this will not be the final budget revision of the year and that she will respect the outcome of a collectively bargained pay deal for the care sector. To make this commitment meaningful and to address the scandal of low pay, the Government must commit to fund that deal and we intend to campaign hard to hold them to this.”
“The proposed extension of free schools meals to all primary aged children is an important step towards our campaign goal of achieving universal provision for all secondary school, primary school and nursery children. We intend to continue that campaign.”