Calls for above cost of living pay awards for hard pressed public service workers
Responding to the Programme for Government, STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
“The First Minister has laid out some imaginative and progressive ideas for the next period. We welcome the announcement of additional funding for the NHS.”
“We are pleased that the Scottish Government heeded our call for a Just Transition Commission. To ensure that the laudable aim of reducing emissions is matched by security for workers and creation of high quality jobs in the green economy, there needs to trade union representation on the Commission and action within the Climate Change Bill on jobs.”
“The First Minister has also recognised the concerns of the STUC and other campaigning organisations over poverty and inequality by agreeing to look at placing the Poverty and Inequality commission on a statutory footing, creating a new working group on homelessness and working with local authorities to investigate options around the Citizens Income.
“The creation of commissions is welcome, but the real challenge will be to ensure that the recommendations are given teeth and that government is prepared to invest in the solutions they propose.
“The Government has left the door ajar with respect to future tax rises to invest in public services and the STUC will be strongly arguing for greater redistribution through taxation during the Scottish Budget process.
“We are now beginning to see movement north and south of the border over public service workers’ pay. The average public service wage has fallen by over £3000 in real terms since the Great Crash. So this is only the beginning of the fight to restore workers’ pay. Above inflation awards will be necessary year on year if workers are to recover their standard of living over the coming period.”
For further details: Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100