Calling for a full Equality Impact Assessment in respect of the impact on women as workers and service users, on children, on older people and ethnic minorities that use CLD services as well as the public at large, Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said,
"UNISON has serious concerns about these proposals as our members affected can see no real way that they can work. We believe some further work needs to be done to ascertain if the actual workload can be reduced by the collocation units and we propose that a pilot be carried out before implementation."
Naida Sneddon, Vice Chair responded from a Community Learning and Development perspective and said, "It was felt that the Project Team did not have a full understanding of the work of CLD and the resultant demands on their clerical staff."
There was particular concern at the proposals to downgrade clerical staff in CLD and Leisure, especially as the job descriptions do not cover all the jobs they do.
Naida added, "The majority have completed literacy awareness training and can offer first steps guidance as well as providing a corporate signposting role," and pointed out that single point receptions will result in this service being lost to the public, as will the removal of evening and weekend clerical staff cover.
"The service is needs-led and differs across the area depending on the needs of the local community. This requires a flexible approach to our work and results in various demands being made on our clerical staff to which they respond in a co-operative and effective manner. There is a danger that this goodwill will cease as a result of the manner in which this review has been conducted and the proposals being put forward," warned Naida.
Steve Gray, Assistant Branch Secretary added, "The Service Review has not taken into account the wider impacts the Service Review will have upon the school pupils, their parents, and the rural communities of Aberdeenshire. or the impact on our rural economies or the council's duties under the 2009 Climate Change Act." He pointed out that Community Councils do not appear to have been consulted on these proposals.
Steve added, "The Service Review proposes a move from contracts based upon individual establishments to contracts which would allow Aberdeenshire wide coverage breaking the link between employees and their local communities and imposing an additional cost on people with low pay."