Unions call for public sector workers to be get real-terms pay rise after Budget

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Unions have led calls for every public sector worker to be given a real-terms pay rise following the unveiling of the Scottish Budget.

The lifting of the 1% public sector pay cap and announcement of a minimum pay rise of 3% for those earning £30,000 or less was welcomed as “a step in the right direction”.

However Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s proposed 2% increase for those earning above £30,000 was described as tantamount to a “real terms cut in pay” for many.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) said the budget “falls short of the commitment to our public workers and services that Scotland deserves”.

A statement said: “Th e SNP made several ambitious manifesto commitments and says it wants to do right by public workers. Now was the time to be bold.

“Scottish workers have made their demands clear, and dialogue between the STUC and Derek Mackay has emphasised the urgency of a real-terms pay rise for all public workers.

“He can expect to see a sustained campaign from public workers to begin a real process of restoring their livelihood. The issue of public sector pay will not disappear.

“Every public worker in Scotland deserves a pay-rise at inflation-level or above.”

Dave Watson, Unison Scottish organiser, said: ” A real terms increase for workers below £30k in the pay policy is a move in the right direction, but for many others a 2% increase is another real terms cut in pay.

“However, an unfunded pay policy is of no value for council workers.”

Welcoming the pay announcement Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) g eneral secretary Larry Flanagan said: ” For far too long, teachers and other public-sector workers have been financially punished for an economic situation that was not of their making.

“The lifting of the pay cap is a long-overdue recognition that public-sector workers deserve to be paid fairly for the vital work that they do.”

John Downie, director of public affairs for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said the budget “fails to recognise the many third sector workers delivering public services who are not even being paid the living wage” and called for them to benefit from a similar commitment.