Tuesday 31 March 2020

Please do the STUC Survey on COVID-19 and tell them how your employer is treating you

The STUC has put together a survey for workers: “Covid-19 – How safe is your job?”.  

They want to know more about how employers are responding to COVID-19 and what it means for you and your work. 

The STUC will use this information to put pressure on government and employers to keep workers safe, protect jobs and ensure people are treated fairly.

Your answers are confidential and our reporting will be on an anonymous basis. This should take less than 10 minutes to fill in.


We hope that you are doing well during this unprecedented time.

Monday 30 March 2020

ATUC Newsletter: Monday 30th March 2020

       STUC survey - COVID-19: How safe is your job?

STUC wants to know more about how employers are responding to COVID-19 and what it means for you and your work. They will use this information to put pressure on government and employers to keep workers safe, protect jobs and ensure people are treated fairly. Your answers are confidential and our reporting will be on an anonymous basis. This should take less than 10 minutes to fill in. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XRJFZ6X
TUC survey
Unions are pushing for fair treatment for everyone at work. But we need to know more about what the problems are. If you have concerns about how your employer is responding to coronavirus, please fill out oursurvey. The survey is short and can be completed anonymously if you prefer. Even if you tell us where you work, we won’t publish any details that can identify you. If there’s something you’d like to tell us about what’s going on where you work, please take the survey now. https://tuccampaigns.typeform.com/to/DhepZE
Aberdeen City Council has launched a free crisis support line to prioritise support to its most 
vulnerable and at-risk customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
This service is for crisis only. It is for those who are hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak and unable to find the information they are looking for or unable to get help from their existing support networks, in these unprecedented times. The telephone number 0800 0304 713 will be staffed initially from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday from Tuesday 24 March until further notice.
Members of the emergency helpline team are ready to provide welfare and financial advice and support, including what to do if you are struggling to get food or pay bills. Similar advice and information are also available on issues such as housing, health, food, heating, finance and schools on the Coronavirus(COVID-19) page of the Council’s website, which is being regularly updated. https://news.aberdeencity.gov.uk/council-launches-emergency-helpline-during-covid-19-outbreak/ 

FAQs have been developed jointly between COSLA and the SJC Trade Unions (UNISON, Unite and the GMB) to help Local Government employees understand the national COVID-19 advice. https://www.cosla.gov.uk//news/2020/03/covid-19-employee-faqs

Wednesday 25 March 2020


Coronavirus is affecting all our daily lives including our workplaces. We recognise the very challenging position that many employers and workers are now facing. We need a partnership, working in the national interest, to get through the next few months - a partnership that involves the public sector, unions, businesses, 3rd sector organisations, and all workers and managers. We are hugely appreciative of the many cases where this is already in place.

Applying Fair Work Principles through the crisis

Scotland is rightly proud of its reputation as a leader on Fair Work and remains committed to becoming a Fair Work nation.  The health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the economy is our priority and in these exceptional times, adopting a Fair Work approach is more important than ever.

Scotland’s success as an economy is built on a shared endeavour between workers, unions and employers and this approach will help us get through the current health and economic crisis. Government, unions and business organisations must work together to reach, collectively, the right decisions for protecting workers and public safety, and to help businesses to stay open, where permitted under latest guidance, and keep people in employment.

There has been an unprecedented package of support announced from both the Scottish and UK Governments to support businesses. This support should help many employers preserve their business, maintain jobs and pay their workers throughout this crisis. Information on this support is available through findbusinesssupport.gov.scot.  We urge all businesses to make use of this. 

Employers should consult the latest guidance on the operation of public services and non-essential businesses.  With the closure of schools and other childcare centres now in place to help delay the spread of the virus we need to make sure that key workers performing essential tasks (and for whom no other safe and viable childcare including home working is available) have childcare support to enable them to carry on working.    

We have high expectations of how fair work principles should be applied during the current crisis. This means an approach where workers, trade unions and employers work together constructively to reach the right decisions on all workplace issues that arise throughout this crisis. The dimensions of fair work as defined by the Fair Work Convention: effective voice; security; respect; opportunity and fulfilment, applied to the current context, offer a framework for taking these decisions.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Aberdeen Trades Union Council Executive Committee Statement on Covid-19

ATUC echoes the statement from the Scottish Trade Union Congress calling on the UK government to:
  • Allow access to sick pay from day one and remove the qualifying wage of £114 per week to be able to claim sick pay
  • Significantly increase sick pay from its current level of £94.25 per week
  • Bring in immediate safeguards for workers such as those in the gig economy who are deemed as self-employed or are on zero or short hours contracts
ATUC calls on Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire local authorities to:
·       Freeze rent for small businesses occupying council-owned properties
·       Freeze council tax payments to ease the burden for those unable to work

ATUC wishes affiliates, delegates and their families good health. As well as full support and solidarity to public and private sector workers including healthcare professionals keeping Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire running. ATUC wishes to lend support and solidarity to Covid-19 support groups in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

The Executive urges all delegates who are able, and taking account of the new guidance on self-isolating, to support local foodbanks including Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) and to support to the best of their ability the Covid-19 support groups.

Full Council meetings of ATUC will be suspended, with our International Workers' Memorial Day event and International Workers' Day parade and rally cancelled. The Executive Committee will be meeting every two weeks, more frequently on an as-needed basis, via video conference to deal with urgent business where necessary and to monitor the situation.

Monday 23 March 2020

ATUC Newsletter: Monday 23rd March 2020

At a time when many are facing real hardship and uncertainty, we are hearing stories of appalling employer practices, but also cases where employers are striving to protect their employees. ATUC is planning to collate local examples of both, to a) name and shame poor employers, and act where we can to help those workers being unfairly treated, and b) to showcase employers who are treating their workers well. We are looking for you to share your experiences - please email us at aberdeentuc@gmail.com  

Aberdeen Social Centre (who most of you will know are based in ATUC) have suspended group meetings and radical cafes until further notice, but are planning online meetings and events. Follow them on Facebook to find out more https://www.facebook.com/AberdeenSC/ 

Campaigning activities are obviously challenging in the current situation, but see below a range of local and national actions you can support from home. (We are planning to do this regularly, so please forward me any other relevant actions/ resources you come across):

Sunday 15 March 2020

Standing together for women's equality on International Women's Day

Aberdeen Trades Union Council hosted an excellent International Women’s Day event on Saturday 7th March.

Organised by Fiona Napier, Laura McDonald and Morag Lawrence, ATUC Exec members, the event began with a stall in St Nicholas Square. This attracted loads of interest from passers-by many of whom had their photos taken with placards committing to women's equality.

Dressed as suffragettes, the three organisers really looked the part. WASPI women also came along as they continued their campaign for transitional measures to protect women whose state pension age was moved from 60 to anything between 63 and 66.

Four women speakers then spoke about women’s achievements, the challenges ahead and how, standing side by side with each other, we can tackle these for the generations to come.

Thursday 5 March 2020

ATUC calls on local politicians to act over Turkey's "Marry your rapist" law

In response to the horrific law passed recently in Turkey allowing men to escape criminal charges if they marry the woman or child they had raped, ATUC have sent all north east MP's, MSP's and councillors the following letter. 

As we approach International Women's Day, we hope that all our elected representatives will join ATUC in condemning this sickening law.

"For the attention of all local-based elected Politicians: Turkish Government’s new law which allows men to marry the woman or child who they raped

The Aberdeen TUC at its recent monthly meeting agreed unanimously to condemn the Turkish Government’s decision to introduce a new law which allows men to escape criminal justice by marrying the woman or child they had raped.

We urge you to read the Independent and Morning Star newspaper articles below which reflect the serious concerns of many people and progressive organisations that are being raised about this horrendous decision taken by the Turkish Government.

We ask that you write to the Turkish Ambassador based in the UK and support the progressive and humane demand that this outrageous law be rescinded.

We look forward to hearing from you in due course as to what your views are on the Turkish Government’s decision to introduce this outrageous legislation and what action you are taking to support the demand that the law be revoked."