I wanted to give you a quick report on my teleconference with DfC management on Monday 06 April 2020.

Covid19

Management confirmed that there had been 3 new Covid19 cases confirmed. They stated that cleaning had taken place on the 3 sites and they would continue to manage this in line with the advice from Chief Medical Officer and Public Health Agency NI. I stated that I considered the advice from Chief Medical Officer as less than that necessary and that as the incubation period was at least 5 days, other staff were being put at risk. Management confirmed they would continue to work based upon current medical advice.

Cleaning

Management confirmed that their position was the same as TUS in that if a cleaner was not going to be on site for overtime, overtime should not take place. They confirmed that a memo to premises officers would be issued this afternoon by Commercial Services to confirm this position. It is therefore important that LTUS engage their management locally to ensure members are not being put at risk.

Staff with Vulnerable Children

Management confirmed that managers had a right to review the circumstances for any staff member who had special leave. Managers should continue to take a sympathetic approach to all requests for special leave, especially where circumstances had not changed. Management would continue to work within the NICS HR guidance when doing so. If any member has had an application for special leave rejected, please contact your local NIPSA rep in the first instance or contact the seconded officers or myself.

Reward for Staff

We continue to push management to consider a financial reward for staff who have had to deal with the considerable impact of Covid19 and continue to put themselves at risk to pay benefits to the most vulnerable in our communities. Management confirmed that they continue to look at options to properly reflect the efforts made by staff.

However they did confirm they intend to roll out the purchase of sandwiches and crisps for all staff in work on a Wed and Friday each week. This should ensure that the majority of those on rotas will get this advantage at some point.

Future Engagement

We agreed we would organise a teleconference for each Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I will come out to you as soon as possible thereafter.

Dooley Harte
Assistant Secretary