Political Correspondent

Hospital, school and council workers are to march on the Scottish Parliament today calling for a pay rise for public sector workers.

Unison members are staging a rally outside Holyrood after a march down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

The union’s UK General Secretary, Dave Prentis will address the rally aimed at increasing pressure of both the UK and Scottish governments to lift the 1% pay cap on public sector workers.

Unison said the pay cap has been in place for almost 10 years and between 2010 and 2016 wages have increased by just 4.4% which it compares to a n increase in the cost of living over the same period by 22%.

Mr Prentis said: “The UK and Scottish governments are now under real pressure to give all public service workers a decent pay rise. Employees across our public services have had their pay held back for far too long.

“Classroom assistants, care workers, hospital cleaners and police clerks need a wage rise above the rate of inflation, so they can recoup some of the pay they’ve lost over the past few years.”

He said any pay rises must be properly funded so they don’t mean deeper cuts to jobs and services elsewhere and said there must be no selective lifting of the cap for some public workers but not for others.

Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish Government will end the pay cap next year but union leaders say that commitment alone is not enough.

Lillian Macer, convener of UNISON Scotland said: “While we welcome the Scottish government scrapping the pay cap, there is still much more to do.

“Public sector workers play a vital role in our communities, looking after us by keeping us safe, healthy, educated, and cared for.

“We can’t accept the end of a 1% pay cap to just implement another pay cap. Public sector workers need pay rises at least in line with inflation and recognition of the pay they have lost for the last decade.”