Year of Covid – Council Members survey results

UNISON Scotland members working in Local Government in Scotland were asked to complete a survey conducted between 26th March 2021 and 13th April 2021.

The headline results from the UNISON Inverclyde members who responded are detailed below.

96% have been working throughout with 36% working mostly from home.

Our concerns about increasing workloads of members locally has been borne out by results to this survey, 58% of respondents reported an increase in workload with 22% indicating that their workload had increased substantially.

We know that the pandemic has been incredibly difficult for many and we wanted to evaluate how much stress our members had experienced over the past year compared to before the pandemic.

Whilst many will be unsurprised that people have found the last year stressful we are very concerned to see the extent of it – 85% of respondents reported an increase in stress, with 38% reporting that the increase in their stress was substantial.

We wanted to know if there had been a wider impact on members’ mental health such that they have had to seek medical assistance for it.

25% of respondents stated that the past year had a wider negative impact on their mental health such that they have had to seek medical assistance for it.

The Council should be deeply concerned by this because it goes beyond people feeling ‘a bit more pressure’ and indicates a significant number of employees who are suffering from ill health.

This is a ticking time bomb which requires immediate action.

We asked members to compare the level of support provided by the Council over the last year, compared to before the pandemic.

Surprisingly, given we have been operating in the middle of a global pandemic 44% of respondents reported no change in the support provided by the Council and 21% actually reported a reduction in the level of support provided!

Given the number of members who have been working from home during the past year we wanted to understand how they felt about that experience and what their thoughts were about this continuing in the future.

Unsurprisingly views were mixed – 22% of respondents indicated they really liked working from home and would prefer to continue doing so in the future, 28% indicated they have struggled and would prefer a blend of home and office working going forward, 15% indicated they had coped ok but were looking forward to getting back to the office and 16% reported that they have not liked working from home at all and would prefer not to do so in the future.

Of those who stated that they had not liked working from home, 34% highlighted the Impact on their work life balance as the main reason with 23% stating isolation.

9% have contracted Covid and 14% of those who contracted Covid were diagnosed with Long Covid.

20% have experienced bereavement as a result of Covid. Of those who had to take time off work due to this with only 37% receiving support from management.

If members have any concerns about any of the issues raised in the survey please contact The Branch so that we can discuss your concerns.

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