UNISON Highland Branch represents Highland Council Staff, Further Education Support Staff, Highlife Highland, Bear Scotland and Community and Voluntary Organisations in and around Highlands and Islands. We negotiate with employers on pay, terms and conditions, and assist members with work issues including grievances and disciplinary, bullying, and health and safety matters.
UNISON is Britain's biggest public service union, representing more than 1.3 million people across the UK's public services.
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UNISON Highland ASN Issues
UNISON has become increasingly concerned about the high number of incidents involving abuse by children who have Additional Support Needs (ASN). We have more and more cases of children being either physically or verbally abusive to staff and we are worried that it is increasingly seen as being ‘part of the job’.
School and nursery staff have the right to a safe working environment and abuse is never acceptable. Though UNISON is supportive of the Council’s Inclusion Policy – schools should do all they can to support children with ASN - we are concerned that the Council tends to hide behind this policy and uses it to stop staff raising concerns about safety.
There should be a risk assessment in place in the school that addresses the risks that staff may face from ASN children. You have a right to see these risk assessments, to have input into them and to enforce their recommendations. We would encourage all PSAs / EYPs to ask to see these risk assessments. These should be reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted after each incident.
If you feel that you are being asked to do something that would leave you unsafe, the following is what you should say to your (Deputy) Head:
Also, always make sure that all accidents / incidents are written down and recorded – if it’s not on paper, it didn’t happen!
We would also ask you all to complete our survey on these issues, available at www.tinyurl.com/hgf6axr . This is to provide us with evidence about how serious and widespread the problem is for us to take to the Council. We would particularly like some actual examples or stories of situations that you’ve faced. Be assured that the survey is completely anonymous.
We have further concerns about PSAs being asked to do a range of intimate care duties, ranging from toileting to catheterisation. Similar principles should apply here: any such duties should be done in a way that staff feel safe and it should be risk assessed for both the child and the staff.
It would be helpful if you can pass this onto your colleagues and encourage as many as possible to complete our survey, it’s open to both members and non-members. For information about this or any other issue, please get in touch with Alasdair, details below.
John Gibson - Highland Branch Secretary 01463 715891 Alasdair Vickers - Local Organiser 01463 723965
E-MAIL ADDRESS DETAILS
HI ALL, THE BRANCH OFFICE IS TRYING TO UPDATE MEMBERS E-MAIL ADDRESSES. IF YOU HAVE NOT INFORMED THE OFFICE OF YOUR ADDRESS OR HAVE CHANGED ADDRESSES COULD YOU PLEASE LET THE OFFICE KNOW, EITHER BY USING THE CONTACT FORM, OR PHONING ON 01463 715891.