Our latest opinion column is written by Ross Greer, Scottish Green MSP for the West of Scotland region.

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After months of negotiations the Green MSPs came to an agreement with the SNP government over the budget.

I am proud of what we have achieved. Argyll and Bute will get an additional £2.9 million and West Dunbartonshire will receive £2.8m, as part of the £24m in additional funding I have helped to secure for the West of Scotland, taking a number of proposed cuts to important public services off the table.

This means that Argyll and Bute Council can ditch cuts plans which included the mooted reduction in the number of school janitors, jobs going in the debt counselling team and in the council’s welfare rights service, the closure of local public toilets, and the removal of the road safety unit.

Of course, it is ultimately up to Argyll and Bute Council how it proceeds, but the financial pressure behind these proposed cuts has now been significantly lifted.

We have also raised the threshold on the 3 per cent public sector pay rise to salaries up to £36,500, because Greens value the work of our public sector staff. This means that a majority of teachers and nurses will also benefit from the 3 per cent pay increase, assuming the policy is cascaded down.

Teaching and nursing are two essential professions that have faced recruitment difficulties over recent years and so it is really important that they get paid fairly after a long period of declining wages.

Investment in public sector pay, along with direct spending on education and health, will help to ensure that education and healthcare are delivered to the high standard we need and expect.

We have also secured more money for improving public transport and reducing fuel poverty, including £2m in funding to test ideas for new rail stations and improving existing rail lines.

This fund will allow people to propose where new local stations should be opened. For example, I have backed calls for stations to be reopened at Rhu and Shandon. Reopening these stations, which were closed in the 1960s, would greatly improve links to Glasgow and the Highlands and bring big economic opportunities to the area.

However, there is still a long way to go. This funding for councils and fairer pay deals may have stopped further cuts, but it has not yet undone the cuts and pay caps of the last decade.

The Scottish Greens will continue to fight to restore the value of teachers’ and nurses’ pay and to give our local councils the powers they need to raise revenues and set budgets which meet the needs of our communities.

We were elected to deliver, not to grandstand whilst achieving nothing, and delivering is exactly what we’re doing.