Leeds UNISON response to the relaxation of Covid 19 restrictions

Current COVID infection levels in the city, mixed with a relaxation of social contact restrictions, are very concerning and UNISON continues to have regular meetings with Leeds City Council regarding the working arrangements during the Pandemic. We wanted to give UNISON members working for Leeds City Council a quick update following the release of a toolkit for managers and an email message from LCC management about the relaxation of Government restrictions sent by Neil Evans.

UNISON’s Health and Safety Representatives met with the Council on Wednesday and have advised them that their approach to the relaxation needs a number of points clarifying and changing to make sure UNISON members are fully protected when at work. Concerns include the approach to members who are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or Clinically Vulnerable; the further enhanced cleaning of buildings and where we go with face mask wearing and social distancing given that the rates of infection in Leeds remain high and rising.

Other issues we have raised include changes to working patterns and the Council’s unilateral move to a more home-based working experience affecting many members who were previously office-based. Discussions are also needed about changes to working time and the amount of TOIL or flexitime that can be accrued.

Further meetings are taking place today and next week and we have been assured that the relaxation in restrictions will not lead to any immediate changes and unsafe working arrangements. As always, the safety of our members at work is a priority.

Should you have any issues arising at work because of the relaxation of COVID restrictions please contact your local steward or, if you don’t have one, the UNISON Branch Office by telephone on 0113 245 8442 or email at branch@leedsunison.org.uk .

We will provide further updates in the coming weeks on progress made during these meetings.and hope that you are keeping safe and well.