Call for key workers in public sector to get Covid-19 bonus

GMB said the workers should be given an extra £2 an hour for every hour they've work during lockdown.

Call for key workers in public sector to get Covid-19 bonus Pixabay

A union is urging the Scottish Government to “do the right thing” and pay key workers in the public sector – like cleaners and refuse collectors – a coronavirus bonus.

GMB said workers such as hospital porters and school support staff should be given an extra £2 an hour for every hour they’ve worked during the duration of the lockdown.

Union members will take their case directly to the Scottish Government on Friday, staging a demonstration outside its Edinburgh headquarters.

Drew Duffy, GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services, said: “The message is loud and clear: After the applause, pay up for our key workers. 

“It’s the very least they deserve for everything they have done for all of us.”

Mr Duffy said the frontline response to the Covid-19 crisis had largely been delivered on the “backs of the lowest paid”.

He stated: “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.

“And while the magnificent public support they received really boosted their morale, they are rightly looking for recognition from the employers and politicians who were quick to clap them.”

Mr Duffy stated that employers and governments across the country are starting to “appreciate the real value of this low-paid army”.

He added: “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.”

In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Key workers in Scotland are playing a crucial role in the response to Covid-19 and we owe their workers a debt of gratitude for all their efforts during the pandemic.

“We’re committed to the fairest possible salary settlements for our vital public service workers and are proud to have worked with trades unions and others to deliver a progressive public sector pay policy.”