Lorraine Thomson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s Education Issues Group said: “We welcome any new funding for education. Re-opening schools is crucial in getting our economy moving again and helping our children get back to some kind of normality.
In particular, welcome John Swinney’s announcement of more money for support staff and his recognition of the vital role of cleaning and facilities management staff play in creating and maintaining a safe environment for the delivery of education. This is something that UNISON have been arguing for in our regular discussions with the Scottish government and others.
Without extra support for cleaners, caterers, classroom assistants, janitors, technicians and other education staff who are on the front line fighting coronavirus, our schools will not be able to open in a way that keeps us all safe. The timescale to prepare schools for opening is extremely tight. UNISON will continue to work with the government to ensure schools are safe for everyone.”
Johanna Baxter, UNISON’s head of local government said: “This funding announcement is a drop in the ocean for local government services. UNISON has continually highlighted that there is more than a £1bn funding gap for local government in Scotland. And COLSA has repeatedly given the Scottish government evidence of this, through their cost collection exercises. While UNISON welcome any extra funding for education we need a serious discussion about the long term sustainability of local government services in Scotland.”
UNISON is the trade union for education support staff and the local government employees in Scotland. UNISON is the largest trade union in Scotland.
UNISON Scotland contacts
John Gallacher head of bargaining: 07904 342426
Johanna Baxter head of local government: 07817 120894
Danny Phillips communications officer: 07944 664110