Members of Aberdeenshire UNISON today delivered postcards to Colin Clark MP calling on him to support a decent pay rise for public service workers, as part of UNISON’s Pay Up Now! Campaign.
“We have sent postcards to all Aberdeenshire MPs. Since they are all members of the Conservative party in power at Westminster, they are uniquely placed to use their influence to stand up for their constituents who deliver Aberdeenshire’s essential services,” said Kate Ramsden, Branch Chair
As a result of a UNISON petition calling for decent pay for public service workers signed by over 140,000 people, a debate will be held in Westminster on 4th December. The postcards from his constituents will demand that Mr Clark and his colleagues support this call.
Kate added, “For seven years now, with the Conservative party in government, our members have not had a pay rise. In each of those years, we either got no increase at all or saw our pay rise by just 1%. At the same time there have been steep rises in the cost of living which mean that our pay has actually been cut by around 15%.”
Branch members including home carers, clerical workers, housing assistants and school support staff carried placards showing how much they get paid and how much they would be getting if their pay had kept up with the cost of living. For example, some home carers are now £2,500 worse off than seven years ago.
Cars, vans and buses tooted their support as the members gathered outside Colin Clark’s Inverurie Office to deliver the postcards to his Parliamentary Assistant.
Kate warned, “All our members are finding it really hard to make ends meet but it’s a disaster for our lowest paid, many of whom have had to rely on foodbanks to feed their families. A disgrace in this day and age in one of the richest countries in the world.
“We have called on Colin Clark to go back to his government and demand that they give public service workers a decent pay rise.”
Branch Vice-Chair, Steve Gray added that a pay rise for public service workers would not just benefit public service workers individually, it will also benefit the economy.
“Higher wages mean more taxes for the Treasury because unlike the banks, big business and celebrities we pay our tax.
“Billions of pounds stashed in tax havens is money stolen from you, Scottish communities and the British economy. The money in those tax havens should be going into better public services.
“We also spend in our local communities which boosts local economies. If we had more to spend then local shops and businesses would benefit. It’s no coincidence that so many are going to the wall as money has tightened for public service workers,” warned Steve.
“Public services and the workers that provide them contribute to a healthy economy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”