UNISON says public services are key to recovery

Commenting on yesterday’s Scottish budget, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary Mike Kirby said: “The Scottish government had an opportunity to show it values the vital role our public service workers play by giving them the pay rise they deserve, but they’ve been let down.

“Revising public sector pay policy is less than half of the story. We now need the Scottish Government to make explicit spending commitments in areas such as health and local government to ensure that sufficient funding is available to allow meaningful pay negotiations to take place. Talk of policy providing ‘benchmarking reference’ for negotiations doesn’t produce money for pay packets.

“Public services, and more particularly those who deliver them in health and social care, are struggling under unprecedented demand and an uncertain financial climate. All public workers deserve a decent pay rise after years of pay restraint and during this most testing of periods. The proposed settlement still falls short of what is needed and deserved.

“Our public service workers deserve a fair pay settlement that recognises the sacrifice so many have made over the pandemic as well as tackling real terms pay cuts of the past decade. More money in the pockets of public service workers would be spent locally, at the very time struggling high streets need support the most. Scotland simply can’t afford not to invest in the workforce if our economy is to recover.

“The Scottish Government needs to do more to put public services at the heart of economic renewal. There is no quicker or more beneficial way for government to create and sustain jobs and local economic demand than investing public services. Properly funding the services people need, is a social and economic necessity. There can be no substantial recovery without investing in properly funded public services.”

Full details are available on the UNISON Scotland website

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