Make space for worker and community voices in the election campaign says STUC

April 8th 2021

Make space for worker and community voices in the election campaign says STUC

April 8th 2021

“If we need a super majority for anything in this next parliament it should be for a radical plan to increase pay, create good jobs and for a Scottish National Care Service.” – Roz Foyer

Action on Pay, Action on Care, Action for Jobs

Launching its Scottish Election campaign, the STUC has called out politicians for the ‘suffocating and self-obsessed debate’ on the parliamentary tactics for or against a second independence referendum rather than addressing the concerns of most working-class people in Scotland.

The STUC remains committed to Scottish self-determination and supports a second referendum if that is the clear will of the Scottish people, but will challenge all parties contesting the election to also address the priorities of voters - a jobs recovery, tackling inequality and supporting public services.

The STUC campaign will call for commitments to restore the pay of public service workers and for the use of all available levers to push up pay in the private sector. It will call on candidates to support a plan for good jobs with a focus on younger workers and a step-change in government investment to create green jobs. It will also call for urgent action on the back of the Feely Review to remove the profit motive, tackle a flawed model of procurement, and end low pay through sectoral bargaining in the Care Sector.

On 12th April the STUC will host a trade union hustings for leaders and senior party representatives. Later this month it will release “COVID winners and losers” research and a series of papers outlining the potential for jobs creation in the green economy with a proper industrial strategy.

STUC leader, General Secretary Rozanne Foyer said:

“If we need a super majority for anything in this next parliament it should be for a radical plan to increase pay, create good jobs and for a Scottish National Care Service of which we can be proud.

“The STUC will challenge candidates of all parties to commit to a ‘People’s Recovery’, rebuilding a better economy and shifting power in favour of working-class people from day one of the new Parliament. That challenge will be carried directly to candidates by raising the voices of workers who have become all too used to being dictated to, rather than listened to, by the politicians.

“Whilst many companies have suffered during the pandemic, many others have profited greatly. Workers have borne the brunt of the suffering and very few of the profits. Over the past year more than half of people in the top income quintile continued to be paid in full, but this was only true for 28% of those in the lowest income quintile We need urgent action to address this.”

Notes

On 12th April the STUC will host a trade union hustings for leaders and senior party representatives. Later this month it will release “COVID winners and losers” research and a series of papers outlining the potential for jobs creation in the green economy with a proper industrial strategy.

Pay and rising inequality

• Between 2017 and 2019, the household incomes of those in the lowest fifth fell by 4% - or nearly £600 year - while the income of the highest quintile increased. Median pay was below its level a decade before. More than half of people living in poverty in Scotland live in households where at least one adult was in paid employment. This situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Social Care

• The pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of a service which has relied for too long on a flawed model of procurement and endemic low pay. Recent inspections have showed that half of care homes were still failing routine COVID-19 inspections a year on from the start of the pandemic. 43% of The social care workforce in Scotland earns less than the Living Wage. Even before the covid 19 epidemic there was a staffing crisis in social care.

Jobs

• The deindustrialisation of large parts of Scotland in the 1980s has caused gaping wounds which many parts of Scotland have still to heal from. Over the last 25 years, Scotland’s manufacturing workforce has dropped from 346,000 to 179,000. Much of this has been papered over by an increase in low-paid and precarious service sector jobs which are now under threat. The economic scarring impact of one year’s unemployment for an 18-20 year old is estimated to comprise lost earnings of £42,000-133,000 over the next twenty years - equivalent to more than £3 billion in lost earnings for Scotland’s young people.

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