Green Survey

A ‘green’ survey organised by UNISON UK in conjunction with Leeds University is now online here: https://leedsubs.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7Utl9m2Zr6gwyRE

The survey asks how climate change and moving towards a greener economy might affect workers and communities. Even if you are not sure about some of these topics researchers still want to hear from you to help make sure that all views are heard.

The survey has been designed by researchers at the University of Leeds and UNISON is participating to learn more about what members know about climate change and how they are being involved.  

It will take 15 minutes to fill in. Your details will be confidential and responses will be anonymous unless you want to be contacted again with further details of next steps in research. There is space at the end to leave contact details if you wish. 

LG Update 04 August 2021

Further guidance will be provided to businesses to help them adopt measures to mitigate risks, including ensuring good ventilation; maintaining good hand hygiene; practising respiratory hygiene; getting vaccinated; and continuing to engage with Test and Protect. 

Beyond Level 0 

Further detail about measures announced . 

Further guidance will be provided to businesses to help them adopt measures to mitigate risks, including ensuring good ventilation; maintaining good hand hygiene; practising respiratory hygiene; getting vaccinated; and continuing to engage with Test and Protect. 

Some baseline measures will remain in place: 

  • it will continue to be the law, subject to exceptions, that face coverings must be worn in indoor public places and on public transport 
  • Test & Protect will continue to contact-trace positive cases. To assist with this there will be a continued requirement for indoor hospitality and similar venues to collect the contact details of customers. Anyone who is required to self-isolate will, if eligible, continue to have access to support 
  • we will work closely with local incident management teams on appropriate outbreak control measures 
  • we will continue to use travel restrictions, as and when necessary, to restrict the spread of outbreaks and protect against the risk of importation of new variants 
  • for now, we will continue to advise home working where possible, recognising that some staff will start to return to offices in line with staff wellbeing discussions and business need. we will encourage employers to consider for the longer term, as the Scottish Government is doing, a hybrid model of home and office working – which may, of course, have benefits beyond the need to control a virus 
  • we will, for a limited period, keep in place a gateway process through which organisers of outdoors events of more than 5000 and indoor events of more than 2000 will have to apply for permission. This will allow us and local authorities to be assured of the arrangements in place to reduce risk 
  • we will continue to issue appropriate guidance to assist individuals and businesses to reduce the risk of transmission as much as possible, such as rigorous hygiene, including regular hand washing. 


More information can be found here https://www.gov.scot/news/scotland-to-move-beyond-level-0 and here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-statement-3-august-2021-1 

Asymptomatic Testing Programme Update 

Please view a letter that has been sent to local authorities asking that they include communications around on-return asymptomatic at-home testing in their plans for return to schools in the coming weeks.  

An update on the asymptomatic testing programme is also included. 

Revised Schools Guidance

Following the First Minister’s statement today the revised schools guidance can be found here: Coronavirus: reducing risks in schools guidance

To allow time to monitor the impact of a new policy on self-isolation for U18s, and to take account of the unique features of the school environment at the time of return, the guidance advises the continued application of most of the existing mitigations for a period of up to 6 weeks; for example, the position on physical distancing in schools should effectively remain the same, despite the wider changes to these requirements.

As with previous versions, the guidance will be kept under constant review, and if data and evidence suggest that any specific mitigations can be removed at an earlier stage advice will be provided to that effect.

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:

Voting has opened for the NEC election

   
Voting has opened for the NEC election    
The ballot papers have been sent out for one of the most important elections in UNISON’s democracy – for seats on the union’s national executive council.

It’s not just about voting yourself. General secretary Christina McAnea asks everyone to spread the word – to friends, family, colleagues, anyone who’s a UNISON member – to exercise their democratic voice.  
News from UNISON  
Human rights: UNISON demands due diligence in supply chains The union is part of a civil society coalition demanding a UK law that holds companies and public sector bodies to account if they fail to address both human rights abuses and environmental damage.

A ‘failure to prevent’ law would increase protection for workers, communities, human rights defenders and the environment.  
Christina McAnea walks the Memorial Wall General secretary Christina McAnea has visited the National Covid Memorial Wall, along the South Bank of the Thames in London. The mural consists of thousands of red and pink hearts, each one commemorating 150,000 people who have died of the virus.  

Calling her experience “incredibly moving and very emotional”, Ms McAnea says the wall – and the messages that have been written on it – “really brings home to you that every single death is the death of an individual who was loved.”  

Coming up   Health: International Nurses’ Day 2021 The theme for this year’s celebration of the nursing community, on 12 May 2021, is A voice to lead – a vision for future healthcare. UNISON wants branches and members to join its live event and share their stories.

UNISON Updates April 2021

Pay Ballot

There is only a week left to go on the ballot so it’s important members contact the branch asap if they have not yet received their ballot.

One Year of Covid Survey 

The press release issued for our One Year of Covid survey can be found here: 

It has already received some coverage: 

https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/article/union-reveals-stress-and-workload-impact-of-pandemic-on-local-government-workers

We have sent this to all Council Leaders but have yet to receive a single response.  We also raised it today at the SJC Steering Group. 

Covid Updates: