Greens pledge to improve conditions for hospitality workers

The party also said it will scrap homework for primary school pupils.

Greens pledge to improve conditions for hospitality workers PA Ready

The Scottish Greens have said they will work to improve conditions for staff in the hospitality industry.

Co-leader Patrick Harvie said insecure work and low wages was “endemic” in the industry before the pandemic, adding that a green recovery from Covid-19 must also come with a “new deal” for workers.

The industry has spent most of the past year shuttered due to the pandemic, with April 26 earmarked as a possible reopening date for some parts of hospitality.

Ahead of unveiling the party’s policies on hospitality, Harvie said: “The hospitality sector has had a grim year, and supporting small independent hospitality businesses should be seen as a strategic priority for economic recovery.

“But we can’t return to how things were. Even before Covid, hospitality had an endemic problem of low pay and insecure conditions. A green recovery must come with a new deal for workers.

“Responsible employers should welcome the work of Unite Hospitality, who during the last year have helped organise the workforce in the face of challenging times.

“As we make our town centres safe and attractive places to be, with less traffic and pollution, as well as quality green spaces and public transport, we will need places to get together and socialise, to see the people we have missed over this last year.

“The Scottish Greens will work to ensure the people working in those places are valued.”

The party have also pledged to scrap homework for primary school pupils.

The proposal is the latest in a line of Green policies designed to focus on the social development of children following the coronavirus pandemic, including a kindergarten-style model.

Education spokesman Ross Greer said homework can be “deeply unhelpful”.

He said: “After a year full of remote working from home, the last thing children and families need once schools reopen is to bring even more work home. We know from research that this creates a negative association with school and learning from a young age.

“Moving on from a year of restrictions on meeting friends and playing together, we need to ensure that children are free to go outdoors and socialise, rather than stuck inside completing homework which isn’t actually helping them.

“This is no criticism of overworked teachers, who are regularly pressured to issue homework which only creates an additional workload burden for them.

“Ending homework in primary schools benefits everyone, pupil, family and teacher.”

The party has also pledged to increase the number of teachers in Scotland by 5500.

Later on Tuesday, the party outlined plans to establish a Scottish Centre for Peace as part of their Holyrood election manifesto.

The party said the new centre would be based on similar facilities in other countries, such as Norway

It could carry out research into peaceful conflict resolution, as well as hosting international summits, talks and mediations – including peace talks.

The Scottish Greens believe such a centre could help contribute to building “sustainable, lasting peace in conflict zones throughout the world”.

Scottish Green co-leader Lorna Slater said: “Armed conflict affects hundreds of millions of people across the world every day.

“Scotland may be far from the frontlines but we can, and must, contribute to solutions and play our part in creating lasting global peace.

“With a strong reputation for internationalism, Scotland is perfectly placed to establish a Centre for Peace, modelled on the success of similar programmes such as those run by our neighbours in Norway.”

The move comes ahead of the global COP26 climate change summit, which is taking place in Glasgow later this year.

Slater said it is “set to be one of the most important meetings in human history”.

She added: “The Scottish Greens want to build a meaningful legacy from that moment and establish Scotland as a peaceful, progressive part of the international community.

“Whilst that will of course be so much easier to do with independence, the establishment of a peace centre is a first step we can and should be taking now.”

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