Unions from across Scotland have raised concerns over transparency in the use of data and the decision making process where workplaces are excepted from closure. It is seeking re-assurance that public health considerations will be prioritised over short-term economic decisions or the pressure being applied over educational settings. Following the partial resolution, until March 2021, of issues relating to the UK Furlough scheme, the STUC is calling on the Scottish Government to consider the future necessity to extend restrictions in education settings, non-essential workplaces and in public transport
STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:
“No-one is more concerned than trade unions about the economy and sustaining employment. However we continue to prioritise public health and sustainable economic recovery over quick fixes which might not achieve the decisive break in infections we need. We have been concerned that economic and political considerations have predominated over the recent period.
“Over the last week, we have not minced our words in supporting the Scottish Government while the UK flip-flopped and played politics with the Furlough Scheme. Having finally achieved some resolution, albeit with too little protection for low paid workers, we are looking to the Scottish Government to re-assess their approach. This requires a re-assessment of whether further restrictions are required, with all of the aspects of the lock-down earlier in the year being under active consideration.
“More-over the public needs more clarity. Scientific data is continually cited as the grounds for decision making. Each and every decision to exclude workplaces from restriction needs to be objectively justified.”
For further details contact Dave Moxham 07891026870
The statement calls on the Scottish Government to undertake a range of actions
• Reconsider the current provisions in level-4 and set out in detail what the higher level of full lockdown will entail including whether it will enable the closure of educational establishments as well as all non-essential workplaces.
• Set out additional measures of protection for shielding workers, pregnant workers and those with underlying health conditions.
• Clarify whether the higher lockdown level will be applied regionally as with the current Framework levels or apply only nationally.
• Provide transparent information on the decision-making processes that will be used to determine what level an area is put into and publicise the data that will be measured in making these determinations.
• Put in place a system of income support for those workers and self-employed who have not been covered by the existing support packages currently available.
• For all measures introduced locally/ regionally above level 3, facilitate bringing together emergency consultative forums involving public health bodies, local authorities, business and trade unions to discuss the detail of any implementation, aid compliance and ensure messaging is clear.
You can read the statement in full here.