GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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Local Government

Dear GMB Member,

Highland Council ASN Ballot Result – 93% Support for Strike Ballot

The consultative ballot on industrial action in Highland Council has now closed, and we can confirm that you have voted by a huge majority in favour of taking industrial action.

Of those who voted, 93% voted in favour of taking industrial action in opposition to the “stealth cuts” to the ASN service proposed by the Council.

We will notify Highland Council of the result of the ballot at this evening’s AGM, and in light of such significant opposition from the workforce, it is our hope that they step back from these proposals and instead engage in a proper consultation with you about how we secure the future of the ASN service.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our Inverness Office on 01463 233088 (office hours) or email gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member 

GMB Scotland in Highland Council - ASN Consultative Ballot Reminder! 

Our consultative ballot against Highland Council’s proposals for savings in care and learning is well under way.  

Thanks to all our members who have have taken the time over the Easter break to cast your ballot. If you haven’t done so already, you still have time! 

Our ballot closes on Monday 29 April, so don’t delay - vote today! 

GMB is asking you: “Are you prepared to take part in industrial action against Highland Council’s proposals for the ASN service?” 

We are strongly recommending that you vote ‘yes’.  

You have previously been issued with either an e-ballot to your mobile phone (vote by text / SMS) or a postal ballot to your home address.  

If you haven’t received a ballot then contact us immediately on 01463 233088 (during office hours) or email gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk 

Drew Duffy 

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Highland Council - ASN Consultative Ballot

Our consultative ballot campaign against HC’s proposals for savings in care and learning gets underway today.

HC’s proposals for the redeployment of a minimum of 63 full time ASN staff present a clear and present danger to your livelihoods.

Your e-ballot or postal ballot will be issued to you directly later this week.

You will be asked:

“Are you prepared to take part in industrial action against Highland Council’s proposals for the ASN service?”

GMB strongly recommends that you vote ‘yes’.

If you have been selected for an e-ballot (members who have approved SMS contact) you will be sent an advance message on Wednesday 17th explaining how you vote, followed by a link to your ballot on Thursday 18th.

All other members will receive a postal ballot to your home address directly.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our Inverness Office on 01463 233088 (office hours) or email gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy
GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Highland Council – ASN Service Proposals Update!

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests. That’s why we are campaigning against Highland Council’s (HC) proposals for savings in care and learning.

HC’s proposals for the redeployment of a minimum of 63 full time ASN staff present a clear and present danger to your livelihoods.

For years you have been working longer and harder with less resource and for less pay in real terms. A challenging working environment isn’t getting any easier; HC has some of the highest levels of support needs in Scotland.

Your goodwill cannot be taken for granted and it cannot last forever.

Redeployment of your post could mean significant upheaval and the council are firmly imposing their will on this process. In short, if you are selected for re-deployment and cannot accept it, the council have indicated they will view this as your resignation.

This is unacceptable and completely ignores the realities of employment within the Highlands region, never mind running roughshod over any work-life balance commitments you may have. It’s a totally flawed process, driven by cuts and not consultation.

That’s why GMB Scotland will launch a consultative ballot of our ASN membership in Highland Council on Monday 15 April.

We will ask you: Are you prepared to take part in industrial action against Highland Council’s proposals for the ASN service?

GMB will strongly recommend that you vote ‘yes’ to send the strongest message possible to HC that they need to think again and consult properly with your union reps on your future.

Our consultative ballot will be conducted by SMS (text message) or by post with full details to follow.

Even though you close for the Easter Holiday’s today, we will be sending communications to our members throughout the break so please make sure your contact details, particularly mobiles, are up to date. 

You can do this online at www.gmb.org.uk/mygmb 

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Inverness office on 01463 233088 (office hours Monday to Friday) or email gmbscotcampaigns@gmb.org.uk

Drew Duffy

GMB Scotland Senior Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Aberdeenshire Council – Pupil Support Staff Workplace Abuse Update!

Following a meeting between trade unions and AC, I can confirm that the council has committed to bring forward a new policy document for all staff in education, which will advise and promote the correct process to formally report incidences of abuse and violence at work.

The first step to dealing with any problem is to recognise that one exists and the response from the council to our previous survey findings has been positive. This is a step forward from your employer and one that should be welcomed.

Our campaigning agenda means that we are working through the challenges we previously set for AC:

  • Schools must be safe places for the staff who work there – violence and aggression can never be accepted as normal.
  • There needs to be a greater respect and recognition for the massive contribution support staff make to our kids’ education and wellbeing.
  • AC must work with GMB Scotland to being forward new policies for safety at work to tackle this crisis.

This is very much a process and not an event but the delivery of a new incident report process is a step forward in the fight to eradicate workplace abuse in AC schools and we hope this will be, at the very latest, introduced for the new school term in August.

However, we won’t rest on our laurels. Our priority is the defence of your interests and that means continuing to engage, organise and grow to help ensure your workplace rights are better protected.

So in the meantime, if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me on 01224 582367 (office hours Monday to Friday) or email melanie.greenhalgh@gmb.org.uk

Mel Greenhalgh
GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in Aberdeenshire Council – PSA Workplace Abuse Survey Results

Survey exposes shocking conditions affecting of Aberdeenshire’s school support staff

The priority of GMB Scotland is the defence of your interests.  That’s why we surveyed our PSA members across Aberdeenshire Council extensively over fears concerning safety at work.

The results based on your feedback are now in.  They aren’t just shocking, they reveal the ugly truth about the untold story working life for many PSA’s in Aberdeenshire’s schools.

The headline results based on the feedback from over 400 responses show:

  • Over 90 per cent of PSA’s have either witnessed or been on the receiving end of verbal or physical abuse.
  • Nearly 70 per cent don’t know if reported incidents have been recorded by their employer.
  • Over 80 per cent haven’t received any training on how to record incidents of abuse; and
  • Over 75 per cent haven’t received any feedback or support for incidents they have reported.

It’s clear that your employers are burying their heads in the sand to the scale of this problem; a culture of verbal and physical abuse has been allowed to fester for too long.  This is unacceptable.

GMB will stand-up for your interests. Tomorrow (Tuesday 5 February), we will inform the council of our findings and call for urgent interventions to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of PSA’s across Aberdeenshire.

Our message will be straightforward: “Our schools must be safe places of work and the council cannot sit-back and normalise violence and aggression.”

We will report back on the outcomes to you later in the week so please check your SMS and emails for the latest developments.

If you haven’t updated your contact details to receive our communications, you can do so at www.gmb.org.uk/mygmb

Do you know a colleague who isn’t a trade union member but wants to join? They can do so here www.gmb.org.uk/join

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like to raise, you can contact me direct on 07738 486317 or email melanie.greenhalgh@gmb.org.uk

Mel Greenhalgh

GMB Scotland Organiser

 

Additional Resources

GMB HOME CARERS WITH A MESSAGE FOR THE COUNCIL

download pdf1878Kb (pdf) - 14 February 2019

STOP THE CUTS! WE WANT TO BE VALUED.