A GREENOCK councillor has won the support of fellow elected members to demand a four per cent pay rise and a bonus for workers who stood on the frontline during the pandemic.

Colin Jackson used a full council meeting to call on the Scottish Government to recognise those who were at the forefront of keeping local services going as Covid-19 struck.

In line with the local authority umbrella body Cosla, he wants to see local government employees - including home care workers, refuse collectors and those working in schools - get the same recognition as those employed in the health sector.

Last year the First Minster announced a four per cent pay rise for NHS staff and a one-off £500 bonus.

But councils say that without funding from the government, any additional pay rises for their staff would mean cuts to services.

At the full council meeting Labour's Mr Jackson said: "There was a report released by trade unions highlighting the effect the pandemic has had on the health of frontline local government workers.

"The report shows that 82 per cent of frontline workers reported an increase in stress, 60 per cent reported an increase in workload and almost a third said they had sought medical assistance due to the impact this past year has had on their mental health.

"These workers have been at the forefront of the pandemic, keeping our schools and communities safe and free from infection.

"They are also the same workers who because of over 10 years of Scottish Government cuts and pay restraints have seen the real value of their pay reduce by nearly a quarter.

"This report lays bare the enormous sacrifices these workers have made to keep our services going, and the current pay offer from the Scottish Government shows a blatant disregard for all their hard work.

"Councils should not be put in the position where the only way we can offer a much needed and overdue pay rise for workers is to cut services."

Mr Jackson's motion was supported, although the backing came with strings attached.

The SNP group faced criticism for asking for changes, with claims that their conditions were motivated by seeking to remove any criticism of the government.

Their group leader Elizabeth Robertson said: "Our staff have gone above and beyond this year across all services.

"Labour's motion would address the issue this year, but only this year.

"Our additional resolution presents an opportunity to engage with the Scottish Government about the ongoing decision-making on public sector pay.

"We requested that some of the wording be changed because we believe the council does want to fix this.

"My amendment was not really changing the core resolution, but I changed it to ask for engagement with the Scottish Government in a sustainable context for public sector that includes local government pay every year.

"But it isn't about just making the political point.

"I don't want to attack Labour.

"I'm just saying there is a better way of approaching this, and the full council accepted this."