Nicola Sturgeon admits ‘I have made mistakes’ following restrictions
NHS and social care staff have been on the frontline of the coronavirus battle and Scotland’s First Minister announced plans to say “thank you” to them through a £500 bonus payment.
However, a major trade union has lashed out at the SNP leader and said the money should also be extended to council staff.
GMB Scotland said refuse collectors, school cleaners and pupil support have been “forgotten” by Ms Sturgeon.
Drew Duffy, GMB Scotland Organsier, said: “It’s right the First Minister has recognised our NHS and social care workers but it’s wrong to ignore the contribution made by other key workers on the front-line of public services, many of whom are among the lowest paid.
“Refuse collectors, school cleaners and pupil support – these are just some of the people in local government who have worked for all of us throughout this pandemic, but they have been forgotten by the First Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon shamed for ignoring all workers
NHS staff to receive £500 bonus by SNP government
“NHS workers deserve it, social career workers deserve it, and all our key workers deserve it.
“The First Minister must do the right thing and say ‘thank you’ to them all by extending the award of this payment.”
Ms Sturgeon has also been accused of using the bonus as a means of getting some “political kudos” after calling for a second Scottish independence referendum.
Larry Flanagan, the general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “There is a bit of concern it was a rabbit pulled out of the hat at SNP conference to get some political kudos.
Nicola Sturgeon announced new funding for NHS
“It’s a fairly obviously political ploy with one eye on the election.
“If that money was available, it would have been good to have had a discussion beforehand on how it was to be distributed.”
Mike Kirby, Scottish secretary of the UNISON trade union, welcomed the support for NHS staff but urged the government to recognise the work of “all public sector workers”.
He said: “Yes all those who have worked hard throughout this pandemic deserve recognition.
SNP bid to break up UK would ‘take away human rights’ [COMMENT]
Sturgeon ‘playing politics’ with Covid after squandering £8.2BN [REVEAL]
Sturgeon warned ‘EU will turn Scotland away’ without euro [INSIGHT]
Should Scotland be an independent country?
“UNISON welcome the payment of £500 for NHS and social care staff and we are working through the deal with the Scottish government.
“However, we should also recognise the work of all public sector workers across Scotland.
“So many in the public sector have been heroic throughout this pandemic: refuse collectors, social workers, school and early years staff, those working in the police service and universities and colleges, to name just a few.
“They have all been working through extraordinary circumstances to keep us safe.”
Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon
In a statement, a Scottish Government spokesperson told the Daily Record: “We are hugely grateful to the efforts over recent months of the many key workers in different sectors across Scotland as they have risen to the challenge of responding to the pandemic.
“This payment recognises the particular debt we all owe to health and care staff, who have been – and continue to be – on the very front line of this crisis, helping to save lives and to protect us all.”
Announcing the new funding, Ms Sturgeon said the bonus is a “heartfelt thank you” for their sacrifices during the pandemic.
She said: “So I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full-time NHS and social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years.
Sturgeon announces £500 thank you bonus to NHS
“Those who work part-time will get a proportionate share.
“The money will be paid in this financial year and it will be separate from any negotiations about pay for the longer term.
“There are no strings attached.
“Of course, a payment like this can never come close to expressing our full admiration for those who have cared for us so heroically.
“But to our health and care workers, it is a demonstration of what we collectively owe you – and a heartfelt thank you for the sacrifices you have made.”
Published at Sat, 05 Dec 2020 12:46:00 +0000