Commenting on today’s (Monday) announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, UNISON Scotland regional secretary Mike Kirby said:
“We welcome today’s announcement on a bonus payment for NHS and social care workers which is the result of many months of pressure from UNISON, Scotland’s largest union. It is no less than they deserve for taking care of us and the most vulnerable in our society during this unprecedented crisis.
“These are all just ordinary people who have been thrust into an extraordinary situation and it is high time the Scottish government recognises them for the vital work they do – not only during the pandemic – but each and every day.
“There is still a lot of work still to be done to work out the detail and, importantly, how we can get the money into the pockets of our hard-working and dedicated NHS and social care workers. UNISON will continue to work with the Scottish government to ensure this happens as soon as possible.”
UNISON has called on the Scottish government not to overlook the many public sector workers who we have all relied upon during this pandemic and to extend the bonus to all key workers.
Mike Kirby added: “While a £500 bonus is a welcome, if token, show of appreciation by the Scottish government for NHS and adult-care workers it unfortunately excludes many public sector workers who we have all relied upon, as this pandemic has hit our communities and workplaces.
“We would urge the Scottish Government to extend this bonus to all key workers who have stepped up, including those who clean and cater in our schools and care homes; our refuse collectors; and school and civil servants administering benefits to some of the poorest in Scotland.
“Longer term, a cash bonus does not help with the structural issues in the public sector where inequality of pay and low wages dominate in some areas.
“We welcome the Scottish government’s commitment to providing a public sector pay increase. We recognise that to make a real impact for key workers and to revitalise our economy as we move beyond the pandemic, key workers need and deserve a pay rise to put money in their pockets now, and on their pensions for the future, to stimulate local economies. This will be one of our key campaign priorities over coming weeks.”
For further information:
Trisha Hamilton, UNISON Scotland’s communications officer, on 07943 507 307