Laura Sharman 02 April 2020

Scottish unions blast 'inconsistent' way councils are handling coronavirus

Scottish unions blast inconsistent way councils are handling coronavirus image

Trade unions in Scotland have criticised the ‘inconsistent’ approach to protecting council staff from coronavirus.

In a letter to first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, three trade unions have warned a lack of ‘urgency and consistency’ by some local authorities is putting council workers and services users at risk.

UNISON, Unite and GMB highlight a lack of Personal Protective Equipment for workers, no strategy for testing frontline workers, and concerns that some workers are unable to practice social distancing.

The trade unions state: ‘We are on the brink of the peak of the pandemic and still there exist major concerns over the availability, and guidance around the use of, personal protective equipment – particularly in the social and residential care sector – testing of frontline staff, the difficulties in workers being able to observe social distancing at work and the definition of who is a key worker.

’The trade unions appreciate that this is an unprecedented time but the lack of national, consistent, guidance in these areas has the potential to put lives at risk.

’We need a national co-ordinated response – the first minister needs to lead the effort to ensure that national guidance is both clear and consistently applied by local authorities.’

Cllr Alison Evison, COSLA president, said: 'Councils take the health and wellbeing of both staff and individuals across our communities very seriously and are continuing to do so at this unprecedented time. The national response to the COVID 19 pandemic is public health led and informed by the science.

'Services across Scotland are being provided in line with Public Health guidance and Local Government is working closely with the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland to ensure support across the system.'

Developing a cohesive council workforce image

Developing a cohesive council workforce

With council workers, increasingly being asked to deliver more with less, Alexander Carlton discusses the role of technology in creating a cohesive workforce.
Re-write the rules of recruitment image

Re-write the rules of recruitment

Anne-Marie Scott offers her predictions for public sector recruitment challenges for 2020 and asks, ‘how do we recruit the right candidates?’
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Youth Support Worker

Essex County Council
£14597.0 - £19106.0 per month
Please note this is a part time contract - annualised hours 106 per year. Therefore the actual salary range is from £995.44 up to £1049.79 per annum. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Internal Audit

Kent County Council
Up to £97,000 + benefits
We now have an exciting opportunity to strengthen and shape our Audit function, as... Maidstone, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Director of Children’s Services

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
circa £120,000
This is an exceptional opportunity for someone who wants to make a real difference to the children, young people and families of our Borough. St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Assistant Director, Social Care & Public Health Commissioning

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
c£71,000 to £89,000 per annum
Reporting to the Director of Strategic Commissioning you will lead Commissioning in the context of a developing Integrated Care System.  Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue