Three workers in the Dust truck is not safe

The threat of COVID 19 both real and perceived is growing stronger every day especially amongst front line workers who are being asked to carry on a deliver services as normal.

But these are not normal times. We are in a global pandemic which is sweeping across the globe, some countries faster than others.

The response from workers in public services is incredible people are offering support to other services which are under serious pressure.

Once such service that needs to continue otherwise there will be another type of public health risk is the Waste and Recycling Service.

There can sometimes be 3 or 4 workers sitting inside a vehicle a clear contravention of the government advice on social distancing.

Earlier this week Barnet UNISON wrote to Barnet Council requesting urgent measures to be put in place to safeguard our member’s health and safety.

Our demands are as follows:

1. Cleaning regime.

The inside of the vehicles are subjected to thorough cleansing regime each day.

That Hand gel is provided for each team every day. Please note there are no toilets available for these staff to use therefore no access to water and soap.

Cleansing wipes to be provided to each team every day.

Gloves and masks to be provided to each team every day.

Provision of toilet facilities for the workforce

Procedure to change how they currently work to reflect government advice about social distancing.

2. Bonus/recognition payment

Workers have asked that the Council pay a bonus to the reflect the recognition of the work they are currently providing under difficult circumstances.

3. Mental Health

To increase awareness of counselling support for staff working on the frontline during this national crisis.

4. Food and supplies

It is well documented that access to supermarkets is proving problematic and for the key workers it will more difficult for them to access supermarkets as they are working. Barnet UNISON has asked Barnet Council look to secure means by which food and supplies can be provided on an order basis for key workers.

 

***** Barnet Council have responded see below:

Cleansing

Hand sanitiser gel has been issued to the crews and drivers have a supply of hand wipes for them and the crew to use.  Drivers can request more from the Supervisors once their supply has gone.  Drivers are also being issued with cleansing wipes so that they are able to wipe down surfaces, handles and steering wheels in the cab.  We have also progressed arrangements to implement a cleansing regime for vehicle cabs.  Nitril gloves are currently also available on request for those who may wish to use them.

We have sourced resource that will be undertaking a deep cleanse of the RCV cabs on Saturday this week.  Following this, we will have a team of four people working from Monday to clean the vehicle cabs.  RCV’s will be cleaned on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and Street Cleansing vehicles will be cleaned on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Payment.

No bonus payment will be paid to key workers.

Mental Health

Mental Health First Aiders to be made available for staff to contact and discuss their issues.

Food and Supplies

No.

 

End.

We Need To Hear From You

IMPORTANT:

We are attending weekly skype meetings with Barnet Council every Wednesday morning.

Barnet UNISON statement:

If you have any questions or concerns email the branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

What is happening in your workplace: Please read

If your employer is not listening to the government following the lock down announcement as a worker you do have some legal rights to protect your health and safety.

If you are a Barnet UNISON member please let us know immediately by emailing the branch at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

Already some workers have walked out by using this legislation

Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 44 (Health and safety cases).

(1) An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that—

(d) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or

(e) in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know what is going on with your employer by sending an email to

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

Barnet UNISON: Public Health guidance for Social Care workers

Dear Members

If you work in social care we want to make sure that you are being kept safe.

Below are links to Public Health England guidance for workers in Residential, Supported Living and Home Care.

Please read the information carefully. If you are not getting Personal Protective

COVID-19: guidance on residential care provision

Updated 19 March 2020

“Care home providers will routinely be procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and aprons. In addition, there will be a free issue of PPE to support adult social care providers to support compliance with the updated advice. This will be issued from the pandemic influenza stockpile. Arrangements will be put in place for adult social care providers to access further PPE as necessary.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-residential-care-provision

 

COVID-19: guidance for supported living provision

Updated 19 March 2020

“Personal protective equipment

The risk of transmission should be minimised through safe working procedures. Care workers should use personal protective equipment for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.

Aprons, gloves and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations.

In particular cases, if there is a risk of splashing then eye protection will minimise risk.

New personal protective equipment must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that personal protective equipment is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.

These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin for disposal.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-for-supported-living-provision

 

COVID-19: guidance on home care provision

Updated 19 March 2020

“Personal protective equipment

Care workers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) for activities that bring them into close personal contact, such as washing and bathing, personal hygiene and contact with bodily fluids.

Aprons, gloves and fluid repellent surgical masks should be used in these situations. If there is a risk of splashing, then eye protection will minimise risk.

New personal protective equipment must be used for each episode of care. It is essential that personal protective equipment is stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.

These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste within the room. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in the usual household waste bin.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance/covid-19-guidance-on-home-care-provision

 

Barnet UNISON statement:

Please let the branch know if you are not being provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

by sending an email to

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

You can keep up to date with Barnet UNISON here on our

Website here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/

Twitter https://twitter.com/barnet_unison

 

Who are the Key Workers who need to have child care provided by Schools?

See below
Key Workers:
· Health and social care – includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
· Education and childcare – includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
· Key public services – includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
· Local and national government – only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
· Food and other necessary goods – includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
· Public safety and national security – includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
· Transport – includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
· Utilities, communication and financial services – includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

Barnet UNISON members if you have any questions please email the branch at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

UNISON in relation to Coronavirus, all workplaces including schools.

Dear Member

I thought I would share the latest update from UNISON in relation to Coronavirus, all workplaces including schools.  

“What is UNISON nationally is doing now?

We are seeking to work with national government, local government and education employers to draw up additional guidance. We have raised a range of issues with them including:

  • Which workers we believe should be defined as essential staff and have access to education facilities;
  • Closures and full pay – the need for reassurance around full pay for all staff including contractors (catering, cleaning etc), agency staff and sessional workers;
  • Health and safety – need for risk assessments, protective equipment, schools fully stocked with all necessary cleaning products and testing;
  • Postponement of redundancies/restructures/TUPE transfers/ disciplinary hearings etc during this period;
  • Joint working with unions and employers locally and nationally to help schools and pupils and staff through crisis with employers and unions recognising the need for flexibility. Asking for volunteers first when employers are seeking to re-deploy staff;”

More details here.

https://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/education-services/key-issues/covid-19-closures/

I have submitted the above to Barnet Council and requested that I need a response which I can share to all of our members.

Please note:

If you have any questions please email

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

 

 

Barnet UNISON office moves to home working

Until further notice Barnet UNISON will be operating a home working system from our branch workers in line with government advice which means the branch office is closed for access.

Our answering machine and emails will be monitored during this period and we will continue to provide telephone and email advice to our members, individual face to face representation is to be postponed at this time however we will still be representing you but trying to find an alternative way to do so in line with the government advice on COVID19.

If you have a new issue or query you would like assistance with, in the first instance, please either telephone the branch on 020 8359 2088 and leave a message on the Voicemail, giving your name and phone number very clearly and slowly or email the branch at contactus@barnetunison.org.uk and leave your name, contact telephone number, workplace and a brief outline of your issue or query.

We will arrange for a representative to contact you as soon as possible.

Please see below a list of our Officers and reps together with their contact details and working hours for those who have ongoing cases with the below:

Monday to Friday.  John Burgess Branch Secretary John.Burgess@barnetunison.org.uk

Monday to Friday. Helen Davies Branch Chair Helen.Davies@barnetunison.org.uk

Tuesday & Thursday. Hugh Jordan Health and Safety/Convenor Libraries Hugh.Jordan@barnetunison.org.uk

Tuesday to Wednesday Beverly Berrick (Schools) Tues- Weds Beverley.Berrick@barnetunison.org.uk

Wednesday to Friday.  Chris Jobson Street Scene Convenor Chris.Jobson@barnetunison.org.uk

Wednesday to Friday. Patrick Hunter Convenor Barnet Homes Patrick.Hunter@barnetunison.org.uk

Monday to Friday. Lorraine Berry Office Manager Lorraine.Berry@barnetunison.org.uk

You can also ring Unison Direct on 0800 0857 857.

End.

 

 

Coronavirus Update “underlying medical conditions”. 17 March 2020

“I have been told that I have an underlying medical condition and I must leave work and self-isolate for 12 weeks.”

“What do they mean by self-isolation?”

  • Those who are vulnerable* should stay off work for 12 weeks (not in self isolation but to avoid risk of infection)
  • Self-isolation means staying indoors and not even shopping for food or essentials. Further details are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
  • All unnecessary social contact and travel should be avoided by everyone, including pubs, restaurants, theatres etc.

 “What do they mean by underlying conditions?”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • those who are pregnant

Some clinical conditions put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.

People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

Barnet UNISON advice:

If you have any of the above conditions please contact your employer. Barnet Council have confirmed that all of their staff and agency workers who are at risk and will need to self-isolate will receive full pay. If you have any problems please contact the Barnet UNISON office at

contactus@barnetunison.org.uk

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