GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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Local Government

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

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

Do you know a colleague who isn’t a trade union member but wants to join? They can do so here

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like to raise, you can contact me direct on 07738 486317 or email

Mel Greenhalgh

GMB Scotland Organiser


Additional Resources


download pdf1878Kb (pdf) - 14 February 2019