Scottish workers urgently need a pay rise in real terms to help them through the cost of living crisis, unions have warned.
It comes as research by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) found that the average take-home pay in Scotland is lower than the rest of the UK.
He said the median wage in Scotland was now below the UK average – with wages declining in nominal terms since January 2022.
Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC, said: “Workers in Scotland can now, on average, expect to earn less money each month compared to others in the UK.
“For this to happen at any time is brutal. That this is happening during the most severe cost of living crisis we have seen in generations is unforgivable.
“The Scottish Government must give Scottish public sector workers the pay rise they deserve.
“Our research has shown that on average government inaction on council worker pay has cost employees £4,000 since 2010, with 55% of council workers earning less than £25,000.
“Now more than ever, the government should stand with our pandemic heroes by giving them their long-awaited and well-justified pay rise in the public sector.”
Pat Rafferty, STUC, also warned Glasgow City Council to ‘settle together’ over unresolved equal pay disputes.
Some jobs – mostly held by women – paid less per hour than positions typically held by men, even though they were at the same pay grade.
A £500million settlement was agreed in 2019, but unions said many employees were still being unfairly paid.
The strike by Glasgow City Council workers was called off earlier this month after unions reached an agreement with the City Council.
Rafferty told the city council to pay public sector workers immediately without further delay.
Speaking in Aberdeen at the STUC’s annual convention, he said: ‘Over the past decade they have faced pay cuts in real terms. They are undervalued, underpaid and under immense pressure.
“They deserve a real pay rise and Glasgow City Council, you better pull yourself together – pay all outstanding wage claims without further ado.”
Further strikes could take place over pay disputes, with members of the Scottish Secondary Teaching Association (SSTA) rejecting a pay offer.
It is understood that approximately 83 per cent of members are prepared to strike if the dispute is not settled.
The offer offered a 1.22% increase from April last year and a further 1% increase from January 2022.
Rafferty warned that the cost of living crisis will push millions of families into poverty without real wage increases.
He said: The cost of living crisis we face will cause and continues to despair millions of people who will struggle to pay the huge increases in the price of food, fuel and energy bills as well as an increase in national insurance. .”
He also called for a wind tax to be imposed on energy bosses who are “reaping the benefits” from rising oil and gas costs.
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