COVID 19 AND PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS (Message from Branch Secretary)

Public Sector/Services workers in Local Government are once again on the frontline of providing essential service to our communities.

Just a few weeks ago they were there to support members of the community through the floods and during on clean-up. Now they are working to provide a professional service to the public knowing they are at risk themselves.

Our colleagues in the NHS are also selflessly on the front line combatting this unprecedented virus at extreme risk to themselves and we salute them for their bravery.

As the UNISON Branch Secretary for the Cwm Taf Local Government Area I have been in contact with all our RCT Council Residential Homes, making sure our members have the most up to date Guidance which has been provided by Rhondda Cynon Taff Council for its employees.

Whilst many staff are now working from home, there are many roles carried out by UNISON members that simply cannot be done from home but still need to be carried out.

These include:

  • Care workers in the community and our residential settings
  • Staff who are working in the kitchens making sure that residents are getting their meals
  • Cleaning support staff
  • Environmental health staff
  • Refuse and cleansing workers sometimes working in horrendous conditions
  • Highways staff (those floods don’t know we are in semi lockdown)
  • Social Workers
  • Care managers
  • Occupational therapists.
  • Staff working in our Schools trying to keep them running as long as possible.
  • Childcare support staff working directly with individual children and families
  • Staff working in day centres and our leisure centres across Cwm Taff.
  • And of course those office support staff and managers who are there keeping the essential systems going and providing support to staff on a daily basis.

This is not an exhaustive list and I apologise if I have not named your individual job role.

Remember that while all these staff are working and proving a professional service, they are also worried about their own safety and of their family members but they continue to work.

Unfortunately a number of staff are having to go in to isolation and become sick themselves and we continue to provide the support they need.

This situation is an enormous challenge to us all and will go on for some time to come.

I am calling on our local communities to remember those staff who are working in our Local Government Services who support you every day of the week.

As the UNISON Branch Secretary and as an individual in my own community I praise every one of you for the work you do.

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Peter Crews

UNISON Branch Secretary,

Cwm Taf Local Government Area Branch.