Press Release 26th March 2020

UNISON MEMBERS IN RENFREWSHIRE PROVIDING ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO OUR COMMUNITIES DURING IN THE COVID-19 CRISIS

UNISON members working for Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership and other vital community and voluntary organisation continue to work during this difficult time.

Whilst a great number of our members are working from home they continue to provide essential services by telephone and through email and social media by updating information, dealing with crisis loan calls, the coordination of home care services and much more.

It is of course these members and perhaps most of all to those still out working in the community that we wish to thank. Our members in the NHS figure prominently in the media and we recognise their immense contribution but local government and voluntary organisation workers are often forgot.

Our members continue to provide care at home services, residential services, childcare, teaching and environmental services against a backdrop of increased demands during these unprecedented times.
UNISON would remind members of the public that these workers are there to help and should not be subject to abuse, threats or violence whilst carrying out their duties. Please show your support to these workers as they are doing what they do best.

Mark Ferguson, UNISON Branch Secretary, said:
“In these unprecedented conditions and against a backdrop of 10 years of austerity cuts to jobs and services, I cannot thank our members enough for their efforts. Many of these essential staff are amongst the lowest paid in the workforce and despite this they are the most dedicated and resilient.

UNISON has been working with Renfrewshire Council and many local voluntary and third sector employers to ensure that our members are properly informed and equipped to carry out this vital work.

As UNISON Chair of Local Government in Scotland I have been in daily contact with COSLA (Convention of Scottish Authorities) and the Scottish Government to ensure that services continue to be delivered against a backdrop of shortages of staff, lack of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and increased demand from the public.

We have seen a marked increase in membership and I am pleased to see that many are looking at the benefits of being in a trade union. I would like to think this is recognition of the good and important work we are doing on behalf of members.

I want to recognise our care at home and residential care staff who are on the frontline caring for some of our most vulnerable members of the community. Their work is vital to ease pressure on our already stretched NHS.”

UNISON has closed its local office to the public until further notice but activists and staff continue their work supporting members from home or out volunteering to deliver food, etc alongside the workers we represent.

Members can continue to contact us in the usual way and we will continue to respond to all requests for assistance.

For further information please contact MARK FERGUSON on 0777 334 2570 or e-mail office@renfrewshireunison.org.uk