School Staff much more likely to catch COVID19 - It's Official

Reports on a Department for Education report that covers schools in England and Wales say the department is conceding what we all knew...that staff working on the front line in education are significantly more likely than average to contract coronavirus.
The NEU education union have examined the report.
The report shows that staff in Additional Support Needs settings (still referred to as Special Schools in England) are 7 times more likely to be infected, with ASN teachers 2 times more likely.
In mainstream primaries and secondaries, Teachers are 1.9 times more likely to contract the disease and our so-called support staff members are 3 times more likely to be infected with COVID19.
We have to ask again...
Are our members in schools and early years indeed just so much cannon fodder in government (UK and Scottish) drives to keep kids in schools to keep parents in work, making profits for business?

That Tayside Pension Fund Statement....

Pension Stuff

Members will be receiving their Annual Statement from Tayside Pension Fund which is the local fund for the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

We've done a brief guide giving you a bit more background to the way your pension is worked out and given a made up example breaking down the 2 main calculations given in the Statement.

We hope this helps your understanding of the Pension Statement.

Pension Statement

   Click The image For the Guide

For more details of your LGPS pension see the following links: - The Tayside Pension Fund website - Full of great info. - The Local Government Pension page on the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (who help run and oversee the scheme in Scotland). - UNISON Scotland's own Pensions campaigning an information pages.

NB: There are 2 big things about the Local Government Pension that members often do not realise:

1 - The 10 Year Guarantee: This essentially guarantees that you or your estate (or a nominated recipient) must receive at least 10 years worth of pension once retired. So if you pass before ten years is up, someone will inherit the remainder of those 10 years. This is on top of any survivor's pension.  

2 - Additional Voluntary Contributions Beat Most other Savings: Through the scheme, you can invest in an AVC scheme, whereby the money agreed, comes off your salary before tax (which is then invested). When you retire you get that money back, as an additional lump sum, free of tax. This means you effectively make what would have been the tax on that income (as a one-off saving) on top of any return from its investment. If you are able to save, and earn enough to be paying income tax, it makes a great deal of sense to put a significant amount of money into AVCs, particularly as you approach retirement, where that one-off tax saving could easily outstrip a few years' interest on most other investments.This is particularly true in the current period where interest rates are so low. Check them out.


Dundee City Unison - Delivers on its Promise of Protecting Members

UNISON sanitiser handover



At Dundee City UNISON, we're not afraid to think differently about the best way of helping our members.

Early in the COVID19 outbreak, local UNISON activists realised that things were getting difficult pretty quickly for our members, particularly in public facing services.

We noticed the employer was struggling to source and provide vital basic PPE as the scramble for these items and procurement rules slowed them down.

We agreed to go online, using money we were saving as various representative and training events were cancelled, and source bulk quantities of hand sanitiser.

We also purchased a large number of 100ml bottles to decant it into. The bulk sanitiser arrived in good time and we shared some of this with the employer, rather than sit on it all while waiting for the bottles to arrive.

High demand and a mix up on delivery (due to our office being closed) led to a delay in receiving the bottles but they finally arrived on Monday 6th April.

Branch Co-Chair, Arthur Nicoll, immediately started a home production line, decanting the sanitiser.

On Tuesday we had over 350 bottles ready to go out to our members and their co-workers. 

Branch Treasurer Mags McGuire, helped Arthur distributing the sanitiser around key bases for our care workers, starting with Lawton Road and Claverhouse Unit G.

Mags McGuire at Lawton Road

Mags drops off Sanitiser at Lawton Road

There they handed over a large supply to our key Homecare rep Gail Wallace.

Gail and Mags will be distributing more around care teams over the next day or so.

With more bottles and sanitiser on order, we'll carry on getting this and other practical help out to our members and workmates on the front line in our communities.

A Vital Health & Safety Resource for Schools Staff

UNISON Scotland has pulled together a Health and safety pack for members working in Schools, Early Years and similar settings.

Dundee City Council is expecting staff to go into schools from Monday 15th June.

We feel their preparations are as yet, far from sufficient, however.

We are holding a ZOOM meeting at 11:30 on Saturday 13th June to discuss the issues around this with members in these settings.

In addition, across Scotland, we are developing a short 2 hour Health and safety online course that will arm members with the basic knowledge and skills needed to assess risks etc.

In the meantime, please do have a look through the pack and see what you can learn from that.


COVID19 - Helpful Links

One of our branch activists, Karen Grogan, has pulled together a helpful list of links to local and national Government and Health Service updates on COVID19.

It also includes links to financial advice and help services plus wellbeing and Mental health support resources.

You can view it here.