Scotland Office Update

Update on Coronavirus issues from the Scotland Office

This is an update on the steps being taken on behalf of members supported from the Prospect Edinburgh office and in relation to the staff employed there

  • 18 Mar 2020

From Monday the Edinburgh office will move to a skeleton staff position, and whilst we will be open we are not hosting any visitors. All our staff will be working remotely, however the normal methods of contacting us either by phone or email will remain valid. We will be putting in place regular teleconferences with reps in all our branches and ensuring that a similar method of working is put in place with employers.

Prospect Scotland have  written to all senior HR contacts in employers where we have recognition setting out our view that employers must be negotiating and consulting with us on all the usual industrial relations issues but also on any decision relating to staffing matters and the current outbreak. We have been very clear that Prospect must be engaged in the decision making process not simply informed at the end.

Please make sure you keep up to date with Prospect’s comms either by reading your emails or checking our various social media feeds (we’re on twitter @ProspectUnion @ProspectScot @UnionTyke @IanPerth222 @JayBeeRathoRose). We’ll be letting reps know about how they can use social media to keep in touch separately.

Whilst it may not be relevant to everyone supported from the Edinburgh Office, Prospect and other Unions met with the Scottish Government today at cabinet level and set out our position on how we expect them to behave both as an employer and in the messaging they give to other employers, the key demands are set out below. Whilst not necessarily directly relevant I hope it sets out the issues we will be raising with all employers on behalf of members.

  • The need to act immediately to provide consistency across Scotland and safety-first advice for workers in high risk groups such as those who are pregnant.
  • That employers in many sectors have been slow to consult unions though there is evidence in some sectors that this may be beginning to improve. Unions must have a seat at the table in all major strategic decision-making bodies.
  • A need to announce the levelling up of conditions so that workers delivering public services in the direct sector, arms-length organisations, NDPBs, voluntary and private sectors have the same levels of economic security, with funding provided by central and local government to give to effect that. There should be no additional detriment to public service workers irrespective of their employment status.
  • The need for an emergency review of all PPE provision and a levelling up of safety advice including consistency
  • The need for early testing for all public service workers both for their safety and the safety of clients
  • That no workers should suffer pay detriment either now or in the future. Unions will vigorously oppose any attempt to misuse the current crisis as a means of pushing down pay or legitimate pay claims.

These are trying and stressful times for members, but we hope that the steps we are taking show that Prospect remains ready to act on your behalf, and to ensure that you know if you need us we are still here, still working for you.