GREEN MSPS will not cross virtual or physical picket lines when staff from the PCS union go on strike, the party has confirmed.

All seven MSPs, including both ministers, will refuse to carry out parliamentary work or attend the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday in solidarity with the PCS union colleagues who plan to stage industrial action outside Holyrood.

Around 130,000 PCS members are expected to take part in protests against the UK Government over pay, with around 1000 picket lines organised including at the Scottish Parliament, job centres, DWP offices, Historic Environment Scotland and, for the first time, HMRC.

The public will be blocked from accessing the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday due to the industrial action.

Scottish Greens trade union spokesperson Maggie Chapman said: “Scottish Parliament staff are standing in solidarity with workers across the country, and so will we.

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“The PCS union has been talking about members turning to food banks, friends or even going without because they can no longer afford basic necessities, while working in a system that is supposed to help others.

“The fact that so many hard working and dedicated workers feel moved to take strike action demonstrates exactly why this UK Government is not fit for purpose.

“It is shameful. But Jeremy Hunt could change that with a stroke of his pen today [in the Budget]. 

“He could pay workers what they deserve and provide decent pensions. He could do far more to help the least well off, and he could tax the rich and energy companies to fund it. But he won’t, because this government would rather ban strikes and punish refugees, than support working people. 

“Today I am proud to say all seven Scottish Green MSPs will stand with striking workers. We won’t be crossing picket lines, but will be working for our constituents, fighting for a fairer, greener Scotland, and standing shoulder to shoulder with the workers. 

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“We would urge others to do the same.”

A rally will be held on The Mound in Edinburgh at 12.30pm with speakers set to include PCS national executive member John Jamieson, UCU Scotland president Lena Wånggren, Deputy General Secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress, Linda Somerville, and Gordon Martin, RMT regional organiser.