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Nicola Sturgeon claims government doing 'everything' to offer fair pay deal to public sector workers

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Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the Scottish Government is doing "everything" they can to offer public sector workers a fair pay deal.The First Minister addressed the Poverty Alliance Conference in Glasgow a day after thousands of teachers across the country walked out for first national strike in almost 40 years on Thursday.Thousands of striking teachers held a rally outside the Scottish Parliament to push for an improved pay offer after rejecting a proposal of 6.85 per cent for those on the lowest salaries - while those earning more would get 5 per cent.Scottish Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville has said the 10 per cent pay claim being sought by the unions is "unaffordable" without cuts elsewhere.Speaking at the conference earlier today Sturgeon: "Pay and how much people get paid for the work that they do is absolutely crucial in addressing poverty, lifting people out of poverty and giving people a decent standard of living."That's why we are doing everything we can right now to support fair public sector pay settlements.

Paying higher wages is the biggest contribution we can make to help households with soaring costs. "It also helps government and people who get paid more pay more taxes, more taxes means more revenue to government.

It is a virtuous cycle, which is why in the emergency budget review we reprioritised £700 million to support the fairest possible pay deal."Trade unions are rightly demanding the best for their members.

But the benefit of that today is that as nurses announce strike dates in England their union here in Scotland has a new and improved pay deal to consider."So that's the benefit of prioritising the things that matter most to people."The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA)

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