AFTER months of campaigning Glasgow City Council has backed calls for a pay rise for frontline staff and essential workers.

GMB’s movement “After the Applause” which demands a £2 per hour increase in the basic rate of pay for all key workers was brought before full council last week by Labour’s new leaders.

At the virtual meeting, the motion proposed by councillors Malcolm Cunning and Eva Murray, received cross party support.

It was agreed that the council also call for an extension of the furlough scheme for those sectors and employers who for public health reasons are still not able to operate or who will struggle most during the recovery period.

They will also ask the Scottish and UK Governments for furlough to be retained in the event of the need for local lockdowns.

Glasgow’s Conservative group had introduced an amendment to call for a full review into the pay of frontline workers and for this to be taken forward on a national basis by the Scottish Government, but this was not supported by members.

Labour leader councillor Malcolm Cunning said: “Frontline workers demonstrated during the crisis the extent to which we truly depend upon them. It’s time we properly recognised that.

“The scars of this crisis will live with us for many years. There is so much work to do to rebuild from this crisis, but measures such as these lay a strong foundation upon which we can build.”

Councillor Eva Murray, who has spent the past six months working alongside community activists, key workers and volunteers at the Yoker Resource Centre, agreed with this statement.

She said: “We have a huge banner outside the centre which states “thank you key workers, in this together, stay safe”, and for weeks we stood outside to show our appreciation through applause.

“That was a gesture which brought communities together, but now we must act to give a real, lasting thank you to those people who have kept our city running.”

SNP councillor Richard Bell thanked Labour for bringing the motion before members.

He said: “The Scottish Government does not have an endless supply of money so the UK Government has to allocate more to allow the furlough scheme to continue.”

Councillor Michelle Ferns added: “I echo comments from colleagues recognising the hard work and dedication shown by the workforce of Glasgow City Council during these extraordinary times.

“I would like to pay tribute to the volunteers including elected members across the council who stepped up at a time of crisis for our city and to help where needed.

“Where the Scottish Government have the power to act, they have a strong tract record of doing so. An extension of the furlough scheme for jobs in these sectors which will struggle the most during the recovery is critical.

“We all have a responsibility to work constructively together to see our city through this demanding time.”

The local authority will now write to the UK Government and to the Scottish Government, laying out this Council’s support for an immediate extension of the furlough scheme as outlined above.