Updates on LG Pay, Long Covid and Mitigation in Schools

We understand that the Cabinet secretary for Finance has agreed to a joint meeting with COSLA Leaders to discuss the funding situation for local government and that meeting is due to take place this Wednesday.

LG Pay Negotiations Update 

We understand that the Cabinet secretary for Finance has agreed to a joint meeting with COSLA Leaders to discuss the funding situation for local government and that meeting is due to take place this Wednesday.  Thereafter COSLA Leaders are due to meet on Friday, at which point it is likely they will take a view on affordability with respect to improving the pay offer following the discussions with the Cabinet Secretary.  This is the final week of the Scottish Parliament sitting before the summer recess and we have asked Mark Griffin MSP to see if he can get an urgent question laid on this issue to add additional pressure on the Scottish Government.  We will keep you abreast of developments. 

TUC webinar: Long Covid and the workplace  

The TUC is hosting a webinar discussing the results of its survey of Long Covid in the workplace, current policy relating to the condition, the related campaign priorities and what unions can do to support workers experiencing symptoms.  It’s open to all TU activists, reps and officers with an interest in the issue.  It is being held at 7pm on the 30th June and you can register here: http://msg.unison.org.uk/c/1nhZGBmZ1Qq0KNsxs5tm9 

Mitigations in Schools post-summer 

Please find attached an advice note regarding planning for mitigations in schools post-summer holidays, including in respect of the schools asymptomatic testing programme. This has been developed with input from members, including unions, of the Covid Education Recovery Group (CERG) and draws on advice from the Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues.  

The approach reflects the current uncertainty around the Delta variant and the position post-summer, and the advice received that removal of some key mitigations in school environments is significantly easier than reintroduction.  

As referenced in the note, separate advice on ELC settings is expected to be produced and issued shortly. The ELC guidance is expected to reflect important key differences in the situation faced by schools and ELC settings, including that many ELC settings will be operating over the summer while local authority areas progress through different protection levels, and that some current mitigations result in capacity issues that will have a bearing on decisions that local authorities need to take about placements ahead of the next academic term.  

Download or View the document below:

Scottish Pensions Bulletin No.60 May 2021

Pension contributions, from members and employers, are currently managed by 11 different pension funds across Scotland. Some are small – £400m – and some are huge – £27bn at Strathclyde. Most funds simply pass the funds to external investment managers to invest.

Pension contributions, from members and employers, are currently managed by 11 different pension funds across Scotland. Some are small – £400m – and some are huge – £27bn at Strathclyde. Most funds simply pass the funds to external investment managers to invest. Research by UNISON and the LGPS Scheme Advisory Board suggests that funds, and therefore members, are being ripped off. A single fund for Scotland could save £100m a year, according to Lothian Pension Fund by getting economies of scale, bringing some investment management in-house, and exposing the vast hidden fees which are charged at every opportunity. A bigger single fund could al-so improve the “Environment, Social and Governance” (ESG) of investments, helping to drop fossil fuel investments and invest more ethically. It could even help more local investment using in-house expertise. Read more..

Online Courses – places available

Please find below details of July online training courses where we still have availability.  If you are interested in attending any of these courses please arrange for the attached booking form to be completed and then forward to activisteducationscotland@unison.co.uk as soon as possible.  Please note that all of the courses are subject to numbers:

  • Online Organising for Health & Safety (5, 6, 12, 13 July – 1.00-4.30 pm each day)
  • Online ERA Refresher (27, 28 July – 9.30 am – 1.00 pm each day)

Please also find attached calendar for details of all our courses for the remainder of the year (July Organising Stewards course is full).

Free Online Event ‘Spotlight on Business and Human Rights’ Tues 15 June 10am-12.30pm

Scrutiny’ – relevant to so much in public services around human rights issues, domestically and internationally.

New human rights law in Scotland, public spending and procurement and supply chains, tackling corruption, and how the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights can help promote transparency, accountability and scrutiny.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

These are all on the agenda for this important free online event on Tuesday 15 June ‘Spotlight on Business and Human Rights – Transparency, Accountability & Scrutiny’ – relevant to so much in public services around human rights issues, domestically and internationally.

Please do attend, if of interest, and/or pass details on to all you think may be interested. Full info, including a leaflet if of use, and registration link are here https://unison-scotland.org/free-online-business-human-rights-event-tues-15-june/

The direct registration link is here on Eventbrite.

The event is organised by the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland and supported by UNISON. Peter Hunter, Head of Organising, will be chairing and Gemma Freedman, from our International Unit in London, will be speaking on campaigning at UK level for a human rights due diligence ‘Failure to Prevent’ law. (More on this here https://www.unison.org.uk/news/2021/05/unison-demands-human-rights-due-diligence-law-for-supply-chains )