Normally, we would give our deputation as part of the Council’s budget meeting—taking place today—but due to the temporary standing orders ruling that deputations can only be submitted in writing, we can’t do that this year. Read on for our full deputation, or watch the video for a summary.
Unite CEC Branch’s deputation to Full Council on 18 February 2021
Unite CEC Branch would like to preface this deputation with an objection to the temporary rules that dictate that deputations can only be submitted in writing. The Council has used technology to overcome many challenges this year and we believe digital participation in Council committees from groups submitting deputations is not insurmountable and that barring active participation is contrary to the principle of democracy that the voices of citizens and workers can be heard as part of these proceedings.
Unite has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government that health and social care workers will receive £500 one-off payment. This will be well received by those care workers who are in some of the lowest paid jobs in Scotland.
However Unite members are extremely disappointed that the Scottish Government has decided to ignore all other local government frontline workers who have worked through the pandemic. Although the below list is nowhere near exhaustive, imagine life without these workers!
Sign our petition to ensure school support workers have their voices heard on health and safety
We recently surveyed school support workers to gain insight into how these important groups of workers feel about their return to work. It is fair to say that the results highlight a number of concerns which must be addressed.
Without the work of school support workers—such as janitors, cleaners and pupils support assistants—schools would not be operational. So why do these groups of workers continue to be excluded when decisions are made around health and safety at work and information is distributed?
Following the Scottish Government’s guidance, schools are due to return next week. Staff and pupils—and their families and friends—will be anxious that the return has been rushed without time for all health and safety measures to be put in place.
Staff and pupils—and their friends and families—should not be put at risk by the impact of employers’ carelessness as they rush to reopen schools.
Unite: committed to the physical and mental health of workers
We are committed to ensuring that the mental and physical wellbeing of workers is a priority. Public transport and shops in Scotland now require you to wear a face coverings, so we have stepped up to provide face coverings for frontline workers in the City of Edinburgh Council.
We are commitment to doing all that we can to ensure that all working environments are safe for our members.
Craig Cummings, branch convener, talks us through the face covering debate below.