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Black Members Leadership course - November 21st &28th and December 5th & 12th.
COVID Workforce Issues Update
Local Government Finance - Behind the spin
Yesterday the Scottish Government announced “game changing” fiscal powers for local government - https://www.gov.scot/news/supporting-local-government-recovery
But behind the spin this announcement fell far short of the long term investment councils need to protect jobs and services.
Three things to know about Kate Forbes announcement yesterday:
whilst the funding gap for local government in Scotland stands at circa £1bn this announcement only provided £139m ‘new’ money (of which £49m had already been announced).
the package is only ‘worth’ £750m if local authorities use all of the ‘fiscal flexibilities’ laid out – this will be easier/more attractive to some than others
the ‘fiscal flexibilities’ will mean increasing debt that councils incur and or the length of time over which it will be paid back.
So this may provide a short reprieve, conveniently in advance of the Scottish Parliament elections next year, but does nothing more than kick this problem down the road. It’s like paying for the weekly shop on a credit card – all the Scottish government have done is increase the spending limit on the credit card rather than giving any meaningful money to avoid using the credit card at all. It's important we try to get this message out so please so share this in your networks.
You can read our reaction here: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18781243.coronavirus-scotland-councils-funding-does-not-solve-problem-says-unison-scotland/
Mental health awareness and support
Saturday 10 October is world mental health day so we would encourage branches to share the #DontStayOnMute campaign video that we did with COSLA to reassure local government workers that they are not alone and that support is available. You can see the video here https://youtu.be/x0-DH6nOw5w .
The Scottish Government have also launched a new plan to help ensure mental health and wellbeing remains at the heart of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Children and young people, those facing redundancy, and people with long-term physical health conditions and disabilities are among key groups the plan focuses on.
It builds on innovations and new service designs that have emerged in response to the pandemic, such as the ‘Clear Your Head’ campaign, the expansion of digital services and the establishment of Mental Health Assessment Centres.
As well as promoting good mental health and wellbeing, the plan prioritises rapid support for those in distress and ensures safe, effective treatment and care of people living with mental illness. A tailored programme of work will help individual NHS Boards respond effectively to the anticipated increase in demand in the months ahead.
You can read the announcement here https://www.gov.scot/news/supporting-scotlands-mental-health-recovery and download a copy of the plan here https://www.gov.scot/publications/mental-health-scotlands-transition-recovery.
The Scottish Government have updated their guidance on Homeworking – you can view the updated version here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-homeworking/pages/overview
Important to note that this continues to state that “employers are encouraged to claim the homeworking allowance and pay it to employees directly”. We continue to raise specific issues relating to expenses, privacy, and confidentiality with COSLA
Disability History Month18 Nov - 18 Dec