Aberdeenshire UNISON is maintaining daily dialogue with the council 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.
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.
Aberdeenshire Council 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.
Whilst we understand that there is a temporary shortage in some protective equipment, I have been assured that everything possible is being done to remedy this. Supplies have been ordered but with unprecedented demand there can be some delay in the supply chain.
It is likely that schools will close from Friday and discussions are underway on what arrangements will be needed to ensure some continuity for the education of our young people and to protect those children who depend on schools for meals and other support.
National/Scottish Government and Health advice is being updated regularly please look out for the Communication Sections updates from the Council and/or this link
Our Resource Centre has been closed to visitors in order for myself, Branch Officers and our staff to be able to respond safely to our members enquiries. I would ask that you contact us by telephone or email. We will be also be placing regular updates on our branch website and social media and you can find links to council updates from these pages.
We will provide national guidance to all our members and UNISON officers and staff will be acting on your behalf with all employers to ensure that UpToDate information is available to you and that as a valued worker you will receive the appropriate advice and protection going forward.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us but please check regularly with our website and facebook page for the latest updates
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.