STUC calls for massive step-up in testing for essential workers

March 22nd 2020

STUC calls for massive step-up in testing for essential workers

March 22nd 2020

Massive step up in corona virus testing of frontline workers required as number of firefighters in self-isolation increases and vital care visits in Glasgow hit.

The STUC confirmed today that its urgent priority over the next 48 hours would be pushing for an increase in the testing of essential public service workers.

It said it would seek a progress report from the Scottish Government since it last contacted them on Friday to press this matter.

The call came as it was reported that 285 firefighters were in self-isolation a number that seems likely to have increased again by Monday.

Meanwhile in Glasgow home visits to some of the most vulnerable were reduced as more than half of care workers required to self-isolate in Glasgow’s largest home care provider.

Roz Foyer General Secretary Designate of the STUC said.

‘We are only in the early weeks of this crisis and yet some of our most crucial public services, that lives literally depend on, are in danger of breaking down. Frontline staff are doing the right thing and following government guidance That is why it is imperative that testing for all essential frontline workers across Scotland’s public services and in our food stores are introduced immediately.

‘We risk a situation in which infected essential workers without symptoms are working, whilst conversely, others are unnecessarily self-isolating.

‘The number of firefighters in Scotland have been cut over recent years. For the period of the crisis, Firefighters are undertaking a range of services we wouldn’t normally expect them to do, but must also maintain staffing levels to cover for emergencies.

Meanwhile strain on the care system, even before the corona virus hit, is a matter of public record with staff struggling to deliver 15 minute care visits and often forced to work split shifts.

‘We wrote to the Scottish Government on Friday asking for this matter to be urgently addressed and will be pressing for delivery on this when we have a Cabinet level meeting with the Government early next week’

ENDS For further details contact: Dave Moxham 07891026870