STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“The move to a tiered framework is an understandable one. Government clearly wants to avoid a return to the full lockdown measures we had in the Spring. It is essential that these measures are effective, otherwise even more stringent measures will be required. We have consistently argued that the fullest possible disclosure of the data driving these decisions is essential as is full transparency on how those decisions are reached.
“The main emerging concern from our members is that even at tier four, the highest category of restriction, schools and a range of non-essential workplaces would automatically remain open. It is difficult to understand that no consideration is being given to a more cautious approach in areas where infection rates rise to such serious levels as to merit tier four status.
“In sectors such as construction and manufacturing, the framework should refer to only "essential" manufacturing/construction remaining open in tier four areas. Employers should not be able to force workers to remain at work when lockdown is effectively in place due to a high level of deaths/infection rate.
“We agree that keeping schools open should be a priority, but not at any cost. The default position at Level 4 should be to recognise this fact and for the inclusion of the deployment of blended or remote learning contingencies as advocated by our affiliate the EIS.”