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18 Nov 2004

Emergency Workers Bill changes - step in the right direction

UNISON - Scotland's public service union - welcomed the Scottish Executive's extension of the coverage of its Emergency Workers Bill.

Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Policy and Information said "We are particularly pleased that the Executive has listened to representations from ourselves and other unions, and that emergency workers will now be covered whenever they are on duty. The extension of coverage to medical staff throughout all hospitals is also a step in the right direction, although it does not deal with all the anomalies in the public services.

"What of social workers intervening in violent families or dealing with violence in young people's residential care, for example, or non-medical staff working as part of the healthcare team in Scottish hospitals? Indeed what about any public service worker working alone out in the community? We will want to study the amendments carefully and might wish to suggest further additions that would improve the coverage, both of workers and their workplaces

"However the Minister is clearly listening, and we will continue to campaign for all public service staff to be protected from the unacceptable risks of attacks at work."


For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser - Utilities) - 07787 558 410(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)

See the UNISON Response to the consultation