Health and Social Care staffing crisis

Help us get through the pandemic by working in social care

Image by Ani Kolleshi, courtesy of Unsplash

This week the Chief Executive emailed all staff asking for volunteers to come forward to work in Health and Social Care to address the staffing crisis due to the pandemic.

It is vital that the Council can meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens and it is in this spirit that the Council is calling on staff to fill gaps in home care and care home staffing.

The Council are also recruiting externally for roles in home care and care homes.

Working in social care

Read details of the crisis social care roles on the Council website.

Continue reading “Health and Social Care staffing crisis”

Care home closures

Unite is asking the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) why it produced a report proposing closure of several Local Authority Care Homes and was ready to vote it through (therefore authorise these closures) despite having no consultation with residents, employees or unions until our deputation and subsequent media interest encouraged them to think again.

Many of our members in the care homes under threat (Ferrylea, Ford’s Road, Clovenstone and The Jewel) had been informed, some by email, only a few days earlier. Some of our members had just been moved from the now closed Cherry Oak to homes earmarked for closure.

This is no way to treat our elderly residents and the workers who care for them and it provides us with a stark warning about the behaviour of those with decision-making power over others and how the enormous efforts and challenges of the pandemic can be so easily forgotten, lest we continually remind.

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: 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

Do your election candidates support Unite’s care manifesto?

Unite have created a great tool to help you contact the election candidates in your area to ask if they support Unite’s care manifesto. Using your postcode, the tool automatically finds your candidates and lets you email them all, with Unite’s email template, in one go.

Contact your candidates today.

 The manifesto’s five demands are:

  1. A properly funded and publicly owned National Care Service which involves participation from the trade unions and local government.
  2. A minimum of £15 an hour for all social care workers.
  3. A minimum floor of terms and conditions for all social care workers which includes two 30 mins paid rest breaks, access to enhanced sick pay and consistent provision of pensions.
  4. The establishment of collective bargaining in all areas of social care services including the third sector and private sector.
  5. The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration fee to be fully funded by the Scottish Government.

Face coverings at work—for those exempt

Graeme Smith, vice convener, reports from the Resources and Chief Executive JCC

Members reported that those who are exempt from wearing face covering due to health conditions were being treated unfairly and told they needed to wear them.

We raised this issue with management, who responded that workers should be treated in line with the legisltation.

Continue reading “Face coverings at work—for those exempt”