South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has warned that the region faces a “perfect storm” unless the Government intervene to settle pay disputes with public sector workers, after teachers and ambulances workers join nurses in voting for strike action.
The local MSP has given his backing to the workers and believes that the action is prompted by more than just planned pay.
Last week, nurses’ union the RCN announced that its members in the majority of NHS employers across the UK have backed industrial action.
The move comes amid a wave of strikes, with ambulance staff, hospital staff, teachers, rail and postal workers also planning winter walkouts. CWU members working for Royal Mail, ScotRail and BT Openreach have been regularly on strike in the past couple of months.
Colin Smyth said: “Strike action is always a last resort for workers, and it is proof how stretched our amazing public sector staff are feeling that so many are planning to down tools.
“The cost of living crisis, following on from the years of misery during the pandemic, have brought many of our public services to their knees and it’s time our governments paid attention.
“I have stood on many picket lines in solidarity with workers these past couple of months and I will continue to fully support those who feel they must go on strike.
“We must stand up for public services and I would urge both governments to take on board what the unions are telling them and start paying people a decent wage.
“But these disputes go beyond pay. There is real frustration that the disputes weren’t resolved by the Government months ago and anger at the way our health service and schools are being run. Unless the Government intervenes now to broker deals, then our region will face a perfect storm of strikes over the winter and this is something everyone wants to avoid.”