UNISON LETTER TO EDINBURGH COUNCIL LEADERS
from Branch Secretary Tom Connolly
Dear Cllr McVey and Cllr Day
This morning’s leaked announcement that the UK Government is proposing to freeze the pay of public sector workers, with the possible exception of frontline NHS workers could spark a revolt by public sector 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.
Local Government workers have been providing essential, preventative and lifesaving 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.
Through the 10 years of austerity we were 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 hundreds of thousands of local government workers who have gone above and beyond their duties to deliver essential services:
• social care workers have been working in dangerous situations in homes of clients with COVID-19
• care home workers 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
I call upon you to condemn the UK Government position and engage in meaningful dialogue on the pay and COVID-19 reward/recognition for public sector workers.”