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UNISON - Stirling Branch

Make sure your addresses and membership details are up to date:

Contact the Branch Secretary Lorraine Thomson on (2) 33093 or email Lorraine Thompson

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Latest updates 31 July 2020  - two new course available book now

 

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Members who have not updated or provided their email addresses should contact the branch office immediately on 0141 847 1687.

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Annual Leave – Please see annual leave communication from COSLA regarding the treatment of annual leave during the current crises and in respect of carry-over.  This is not overly prescriptive but sets out the key principles that should apply.

COVID Workforce Issues Update

 

The Scottish Government have announced that testing eligibility has been extended for young children.

 

Children under the age of five who are displaying potential coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms will be eligible for testing from today.

 

Currently, children under five who have potential COVID-19 symptoms are not routinely tested and a test is only carried out if there is a pressing clinical need to do so – for example a young child who needs to be admitted to hospital and whose condition may be due to COVID-19 or a young child who is in hospital for some reason whose condition unexpectedly deteriorates.

 

Now, with childcare settings reopening from 15 July, children aged under five who have COVID-19 symptoms will be eligible for routine testing through all routes including drive-in Regional Testing Centres, Mobile Testing Units and by ordering a home test kit.

 

More information here - https://www.gov.scot/news/covid-19-testing-for-under-fives/

 

 

Homeworking Guidance

 

The Scottish Government have also today issued Homeworking guidance for all sectors. This guidance is intended to support employers and the self-employed with the continuation of homeworking. It has been developed to complement the suite of COVID-19 related guidance on safer workplaces.

 

Whilst much of this is reflective of the issues covered in the guidance we recently agreed and issued with COSLA it, helpfully, goes a bit further in relation to the HMRC allowance by stating that “employers are encouraged to claim the homeworking allowance and pay it to employees directly”. The UNISON Stirling Branch are awaiting a response from our employer regarding this and we will update members as soon as we have a response.

 

You can see the full guidance here:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-homeworking/pages/overview/

Testing

UNISON the trade union for education staff's response to the First Minister's announcement that schools return from 11 August 2020

 

Lorraine Thomson, chair of UNISON's Education Issues Group said: "Education staff, more than anyone understand the importance of getting kids back to school. It is vital for children's development and the Scottish economy that we do so as quickly and safely as we can.

 

Crucial to ensuring a safe return is that schools get a regular deep clean that's why UNISON will continue to raise the needs school clearers, janitors and other staff who have a role to play in getting kids back safely into schools.

 

Pupil support workers and teaching assistants work up close with children so UNISON continues to seek details of additional surveillance and testing regimes for schools and early learning establishments."

 

Johanna Baxter, UNISON's head of local government said: "UNISON welcome the extra funding announced today by the First Minister, and that she recognises some schools might need a phased return and the recognition that we need a whole school approach to ensure that education staff and pupils can return safely.  

 

However, while welcome, these additional funds must be put in the context that there is more than a £1bn funding gap for local government in Scotland. This challenge is not going away and we need a serious discussion about the future of local government funding to protect jobs and services going forward."