STUC to co-ordinate campaigns and action on public sector pay

Brenda Aitchison

Brenda Aitchison: “Public sector pay awards have been “hee wrapped up in haw”.

#stuc2018 The STUC Congress has backed UNISON Scotland’s call for a new long term pay policy for all public sector workers that reflects the rising cost of living and the cumulative pay losses suffered by public sector workers over the last decade.

The policy should be underpinned by a minimum wage of £10 per hour and a commitment by the UK and Scottish Governments to fully fund such a pay policy in their budget allocations.

UNISON’s Brenda Aitchison, seconding the motion, brought laughter with her ‘Still Game’ reference, saying public sector pay awards had been “hee wrapped up in haw”.

“How can it be fair to cut in real terms our pay for so long when public sector workers did not create the financial collapse?

“Austerity and austerity-light has to end. You all know the grim statistics, starving of funding and resulting fall-out, less jobs, stretched to breaking point services, lost services, poverty wages. This is the politicians’ shame – those who implement cuts.

“It is not outrageous for us to demand an inflation busting pay rise and establish a £10 per hour minimum wage. We don’t need any more empty praise, we need an increase to our living standards… As a movement we know there is no such thing as deserving and undeserving public sector workers” when it comes to pay. We all serve, we all deserve better pay.”

Brenda said the STUC had to be bold and have ‘an honest look’ at public finance and campaign for a more progressive tax system like the one proposed by UNISON Scotland that would raise £800 million a year and tackle income inequality.

And she highlighted the difference between Scottish government words and actions. “The SNP may have signed for fair work but SNP councils are not demonstrating they are on message when they attack terms and conditions of their workers in local government.”

The composite from the UNISON Scotland, the STUC General Council, PCS, and the EIS also restated support for the Fair Work Convention to ensure that government at all levels and employers implement the Fair Work Framework. UNISON Scotland convener Lilian Macer sits on the Convention.

It urged the STUC to “facilitate, organise and co-ordinate collective action and campaigns, including industrial action, when required on the part of affiliates, to end public sector pay restraint.”

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