Responding to the First Minister’s announcement this afternoon (Tuesday 13 July) in response to questioning by Willie Rennie MSP, that potential changes on isolation exemptions for health and social care staff remain under “active consideration”, GMB Senior Organiser for Public Services Drew Duffy warned:
“Government officials admitted to unions this morning that exemptions are being considered because of the understaffing crises in our NHS and social care sector, but let’s be clear these problems were well understood by Ministers and employers pre-COVID and they didn’t act.
“Our message to the First Minister is simple: “Don’t go there.” This will only anger and concern staff who are already absolutely exhausted and undercut, while confirming that their safety is not and has never been a priority for this government during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“Instead, this should act as a final warning about the need for urgent and transformative investment in health and social care, so we can attract and retain the people and skills we so obviously need, and that means delivering proper value for workers in their pay and conditions.
“For GMB the priorities are clear: You can’t cut your way out of a crisis. We need to rebuild after the damage done by a decade of cuts to NHS pay and conditions and we must move at pace to deliver a National Care Service with a £15 hourly minimum.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077.