The Scottish Government is being urged to “do the right thing” and pay key workers in the public sector a coronavirus bonus.
Leaders of the GMB trade union said those such as bin men, hospital porters and school support staff should be paid an extra £2 an hour for every hour they had worked during the duration of the lockdown.
Union members will take their case directly to the Scottish Government on Friday, staging a demonstration outside its Edinburgh headquarters.
But speaking ahead of that, GMB Scotland senior organiser for public services Drew Duffy said: “The message is loud and clear: After the applause, pay up for our key workers. It’s the very least they deserve for everything they have done for all of us.”
He stated: “The frontline response to the coronavirus crisis across the public sector has been largely delivered on the backs of the lowest paid – cleaners, carers, porters, refuse workers and school support staff.
“When the rest of the country went into lockdown, they kept our hospitals clean, lifted our rubbish, looked after the kids of our other key workers in hub schools across Scotland, and they continue to face the crisis within a crisis that is social care.
“And while the magnificent public support they received really boosted their morale, they are rightly looking for recognition from the employers and politicians who were quick to clap them.”
Mr Duffy said: “Employers and governments across the UK and beyond are starting to appreciate the real value of this low-paid army and are committing to tackling the damage caused by a decade of cuts.
“If Scotland really aspires to be a nation of fair work, then the Scottish Government should do the right thing and recognise that there needs to be a reckoning on the value of these workers.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Key workers in Scotland are playing a crucial role in the response to Covid-19 and we owe their workers a debt of gratitude for all their efforts during the pandemic.
“We’re committed to the fairest possible salary settlements for our vital public service workers and are proud to have worked with trades unions and others to deliver a progressive public sector pay policy.”