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LEADERS of the GMB trade union have urged the Scottish government to “do the right thing” and pay key workers in the public sector a coronavirus bonus.
Those such as refuse collectors, hospital porters, cleaners, carers and school support staff should receive an extra £2 for every hour worked during the lockdown, the union says.
Union members took their case directly to the Scottish government today, staging a demonstration outside its Edinburgh headquarters.
The call is part of the union’s “after the applause, pay up for our key workers” campaign, which was launched in the spring.
GMB Scotland senior organiser Drew Duffy said: “The front-line response to the coronavirus crisis across the public sector has been largely delivered on the backs of the lowest paid – cleaners, carers, porters, refuse workers and school support staff.
“When the rest of the country went into lockdown, they kept our hospitals clean, lifted our rubbish, looked after the kids of our other key workers in hub schools across Scotland, and they continue to face the crisis-within-a-crisis that is social care.
"If Scotland really aspires to be a nation of fair work, then the Scottish government should do the right thing and recognise that there needs to be a reckoning on the value of these workers.”
A spokesman for the Scottish government said it was “committed to the fairest possible salary settlements” for public-service workers.
He added: “Key workers in Scotland are playing a crucial role in the response to Covid-19 and we owe [them] a debt of gratitude for all their efforts during the pandemic.”
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