Scottish Government “thank you” £500 payment

As we are all aware the Scottish Government decided that most Local Government workers are not worthy of a “thank you”. To our knowledge nobody in the Scottish Government, even cabinet secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell, has ever uttered those words in respect of the efforts of Local Government workers during the pandemic.

The Scottish Government’s £500 “thank you” payment is being made today (April 28 2021) to those City of Edinburgh Council workers our HR have interpreted as eligible under the Scottish Government’s guidance, who would also have received a letter about this payment from HR at the beginning of April. Those not receiving the payment have right of appeal (decision review) and Unite is supporting that right. We advise everyone to check the Scottish Government website for information on this subject. Please see below details of process:

Stage 1

  • Request, in writing (see attached template letter), the £500 from HR, City of Edinburgh Council, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG
  • Keep copies of all communications sent and received
  • Contact a rep when you receive a communication that is either an acceptance or rejection (an acknowledgement of receipt of communication should be kept but is neither acceptance nor rejection)

Stage 2

  • If you receive a rejection notice from HR complete the Scottish Government’s £500 Thankyou payment – Decision review request form template (see attached template) and send to: socialcare500@gov.scot with a copy of the rejection communication from HR 
  • Keep your own copies and ensure that the branch has a copy
  • Discuss this with a rep
  • Make sure you let us know your name, department and job title

Stage 3

  • If unsuccessful in the decision review process through the Scottish Government there is a further appeals’ procedure involving an ombudsperson
  • Contact a rep if you wish to continue this process

Another Edinburgh is Possible

Another Edinburgh is Possible is a recently formed independent alliance of community groups and trade unionists working to defend and extend public services in the city. 

Please consider completing this short survey.  Another Edinburgh is Possible wants to know your views about current council services and your ideas for the services we need. 

Complete the survey

The survey is completely anonymous, it will be impossible to link responses to any individual, and the data collected will be used to help us collate the views of people right across the city and understand how factors like age and gender influence experience.

Once you’ve submitted the form please share the link with friends, family, neighbours and workmates (email, Facebook, WhatsApp etc).

You may also wish to compare and complete the City of Edinburgh Council budget engagement, which closes 12th December 2020.

Unite CEC branch on schools’ Health & Safety groups

Unite CEC branch started raising concerns over Health & Safety (H&S) communications in Edinburgh schools in late July 2020, prior to the schools’ re-opening. These concerns centred around the operations, composition and communications regarding the schools’ H&S groups. Members’ uncertainties indicated a lack of involvement from all staff groups (both FM and C&F) working in schools.

A survey of Unite members in Edinburgh schools was initiated at the end of October 2020, following persistent inadequacy of response from Communities & Families (whose domain the H&S groups sits in). The resultant report revealed that far too many staff (particularly FM) were unaware of the existence of their school’s H&S group and had had no H&S communications.

The report was shared with senior C&F and FM staff who promised to rectify the situation and make all staff welcome to each school’s H&S group where possible. Our message now to all school workers (FM and C&F) is to inquire from Head Teacher or Business Manager how you can become involved in your school’s Health & Safety group.

Download the full report or the executive summary.

Unite will not stand by and see workers’ hours cut and jobs lost

Unite press release 2 October 2020

Unite warns Edinburgh City Council over plans to cut jobs and hours of key workers 

Unite Scotland has today (2 October) warned the Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) that plans to cut hours and offer voluntary severance as part of cost cutting measures by Chief Executive Andrew Kerr will be ‘fiercely’ resisted.

Continue reading “Unite will not stand by and see workers’ hours cut and jobs lost”

Care for our carers: Unite calls on Scottish Government and employers to meet costs of frontline carers’ fees

Wendy Dunsmore, Unite Scotland’s local authority RISC officer, brings you this update.

As care workers are putting themselves at risk every day carrying out a job that cares forthose msot vulnerable in our society, Unite is calling on local authorities and the Scottish Government to recognise these essential workers by fully funding the costs of the SSSC registration fee for these low-paid heroes.

Care workers must be registered with the SSSC to carry out their job. In recent years, councils have passed the cost of the registration on to low-paid carers, who are predominantly female. Registration can cost between £25 and £80 dependent on the role.

Unite believes there are no other workers who have to meet costs for their own employment. It is unfair and unacceptable to expect carers to do so.

Carers provide selfless and courageous work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forcing them to meet these costs leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of carers.

Next steps

Unite is meeting with Scottish Government officials this week to press for this payment to be met by the employer. It is unacceptable to impose this cost on to carers.

We will keep you informed of our progress.

Interested in a job in early years?

Do you understand children? Are you keen to learn? Want a career with progression?

The City of Edinburgh Council is recruiting hundreds of early years staff and Unite are offering support to members and non-members, Council staff and other workers that are interested in these roles.

Continue reading “Interested in a job in early years?”

Workers’ Memorial Day 2019 on 28 August

On 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and activities to mark the Workers’ Memorial Day.

The motto of the day is ‘remember the dead: fight for the living’. It is the chance to remember those that die at work—more than those that die in wars each year—and to galvanise our efforts to ensure work is safe and the penalties for breaching health and safety laws are severe. Continue reading “Workers’ Memorial Day 2019 on 28 August”