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.

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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.

School support newsletter

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?

Sign our petition for school support workers and find out more about your rights below.

Survey findings

Our survey paints a worrying picture.

Key findings show, that of our respondents

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