Unite Scotland responds to Programme for Government 2023 - 2024: First Minister's speech

Derek Thomson, Unite Scottish Secretary, said: “The First Minister’s speech outlined a long list of priorities but next to no detail on how they will be funded and delivered. You can only deliver improvements to public services by allocating resources. This includes awarding fair pay rises, yet we have an unacceptable 5 per cent pay offer on the table for local government workers."

“The pledge to take the pay of social care workers to £12 an hour is well below the demands of £15 as a minimum from the workers. There is ambiguity on whether funding will be made available to deliver this for all public, private and voluntary social carers in the same way as for early learning and childcare workers. If not, then social carers will rightly demand to know why not.”

 “A major concern for Unite remains job creation in the renewables sector, and the need to deliver a Just Transition for the workforce. This area got a passing mention with the only concrete ideas being a sector deal with the onshore wind industry to half the consent time for wind farms, and the streamlining of offshore wind consenting processes. However, all this will deliver is an even faster process of jobs being outsourced, and components being manufactured around the globe. Unless clauses are introduced to create and retain local jobs in Scotland these ideas could in fact make a bleak situation even worse.”