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Branch slams proposed pay freeze for public sector workers in local government

Aberdeenshire UNISON has today (20th November) issued a press release slamming the leaked announcement that the UK Government is proposing to freeze the pay of public sector workers in England, with the possible exception of frontline NHS workers.

The branch has called on the Scottish Government and COSLA to condemn this UK Tory Government position and engage in meaningful dialogue on the pay and Covid reward/recognition for public sector workers.

Branch secretary, Inez Kirk said, “Like all NHS staff, Local Government workers have been providing essential, preventative and life saving services throughout the pandemic without a break.

“Many of them have worked beyond their normal hours and in difficult circumstances to continue with the provision of essential services in the communities in which they live, work and serve.

“To be ‘frozen out’ after their heroic response to the Covid 19 pandemic could spark a revolt by workers in these unprecedented times, especially when some Cabinet members have significantly increased their personal wealth during the pandemic and Members of Parliament are expect to receive a pay rise in excess of £3k.”

Inez added, “For many of the 10 years of austerity we have been subjected to pay freezes, below inflation pay rises and cuts to jobs and services.

“This announcement is nothing more than a slap in the face to the hundred of thousands of local government workers who have gone above and beyond their duties to deliver essential services, including:

  • social care workers who have been working in dangerous situations in homes of clients with Covid
  • care home workers who have been at the coalface dealing with the vulnerable clients who have not had access to family/friends during this period
  • school support staff supporting the education provision for vulnerable children and children of key workers
  • social work staff who have seen substantially increased caseloads with fewer staff available for work due to the pandemic
  • environmental health officers where we no longer have enough staff to cope with emergencies such as the pandemic
  • waste workers, cleaning staff, staff working from home providing first point of contact

And all our other council staff who have kept services going throughout the pandemic.”