Coronavirus: janitors, janitors and support staff ‘don’t feel safe’

More than 1,700 janitors, janitors and support staff say they don’t feel safe at work and are being put at risk every day.

In an open letter to Nicola Sturgeon, the GMB union raised concerns about PPE and risk assessments.

Schools are expected to return in August without social distance if the coronavirus is properly suppressed.

The Scottish government said workers should have access to PPE whenever necessary.

A spokesman said there should be “appropriate hygiene facilities” and any broader support that employees need.

The letter, which will be handed over to the Scottish Parliament later, says that workers were receiving the “necessary minimum” of PPE (personal protective equipment) and many of them only had access to hand washing facilities.

“We don’t feel safe at work and we are being put at risk every day,” says the letter.

This letter is signed by officials who call themselves “the workforce that seems to have been forgotten”.

They said they were working during confinement in school centers and were now concerned that guidelines for site-specific risk assessments were not being carried out and some staff did not have the necessary PPE to feel safe.

They said the guidance, to keep school staff safe, should be revised and made more robust.

Source: BBC

“We continue to take care of the children of other important workers and vulnerable children, we continue to feed them and provide personal care, to clean them and to ensure that their environment is nutritious and safe,” says the letter. “We did this with love and with little regard for our own health and safety.

“Your government’s guidelines are very clear, as an individual risk assessment must be carried out before any staff and students return. We are the team that works and opens schools, and we need you as our prime minister to apply these guidelines “.

They also said they did not feel safe using public transport to and from work.

They also highlighted the fact that, due to cuts in budgets and cleaning staff, many of them had multiple contracts or were forced to move between buildings throughout the day.

“Our families are being put at risk. We are afraid to take the virus home,” said the letter.

“Some of our colleagues are very sick and others have died. Without adequate protection and investments now, many of us will catch this virus and others may die.”

They asked that the local authorities’ investment be used to:

  • Individual school risk assessments that employees can access without having to ask
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Investment in bereavement and mental health services that can be accessed urgently
  • Best contracts
  • Increased cleaning hours
  • £ 2 per hour of salary increase
  • Robust national orientation

A Scottish government spokesman said: “Our school staff continues to provide invaluable service in the centers and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe at work and we have been clear with local authorities that workers must have appropriate hygiene facilities and, when necessary, access to PPE and any broader support they need.

“The health and well-being of students and staff remains our priority, as we plan to reopen schools safely in August. The plan is conditional on infection rates being low enough to continue suppressing the virus and protective measures. and public health. to be in place. “

John Swinney
Source: BBC

Schools were originally preparing to return with a “mixed” model of face-to-face teaching and home learning.

But last week, Education Secretary John Swinney said “there has been significant progress” in controlling the spread of the virus, so ministers are preparing for all schools to open full-time in August.

He said that mixed learning still needs to be implemented if infection rates rise again, warning that “there is no certainty with this virus”.

News Reporter

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