Colleagues, UNISON North Lanarkshire is maintaining daily dialogue with our employers as part of the emergency response to the current pandemic. As you will be aware things are changing almost on an hourly basis and every decision and its consequences are being fully considered. I can assure members that the health, safety, your wellbeing and that of service users (especially those identified as vulnerable) is taking priority.
We are trying to ensure communications to members are as consistent as possible right now. We will send e-mail updates on a regular basis and update the Unison North Lanarkshire Facebook page and the Unison North Lanarkshire website at the same time. The Fair Pay for Scottish Council Workers Facebook page will also have updates.
We have arranged weekly meetings with the council and are in constant contact with the employers as the situation develops.
Whilst these events are unprecedented it is not new for Local Government and its workforce to be called upon during national emergencies – its what we do best. This pandemic highlights the valuable and significant contribution you make to the lives of your families and our communities. North Lanarkshire Council and CLNL may seek volunteers from all occupational groups to assist in key and high priority areas – this is being supported by UNISON as the safest and most effective way in delivering care for those in need. I would therefore encourage those who are fit, able and willing, to respond to this call. UNISON will be issuing advice to members who volunteer to work in other areas and we will maintain close dialogue with the Council in monitoring the situation.
The branch office has been closed to visitors in order for myself, Branch Officers, Stewards and our staff to be able to respond safely to our members enquiries. I would ask that you contact us by email if at all possible to allow us to respond quickly to as many members as possible. Pregnant workers/those in other vulnerable groups – we are getting a lot of queries from members re what medical conditions require them to self-isolate. We need to be clear that we are not medical experts and any queries re health concerns need to be raised with your line manager and you should follow guidance from health professionals (https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk).
The council have assured us that appropriate Personal Protection Equipment is available for everyone who needs it. We are aware of some concerns nationally relating to PPE availability and have raised this with the Scottish Government. FAQs
The council have set up information pages and an FAQ site for staff to keep up to date with developments and ask questions, they can be found here:
Information for staff
Thank you for the work you do, day in day out and I am sure our response will ensure that we will get through the challenges posed in the coming weeks and months. Please stay safe, fit and healthy by following the guidance issued.
UNISON North Lanarkshire
Please forward to all known members