I wanted to advise on work that has been ongoing over the last few days to introduce additional measures to deal with the increased Covid rates in the Derry & Strabane Council area. Members will be aware that Covid infection rates in the North West are showing as one of the highest in the UK and the NI Executive has recently introduced additional restrictions for this area. This has led to an increase in the number of positive Covid cases being reported by staff in DfC offices.

Dept TUS has been engaged with senior management to introduce additional measures to better protect staff from these increased rates and also when set against the NI Executive restrictions. Mgt have re-affirmed that all staff that can work from home must work from home. We have also agreed with management that the total staff numbers in the offices will be reduced on a temporary basis and a staff rota will be applied if necessary. And an improved cleaning regime will be introduced with additional hours being allocated to offices.

Both local and Dept TUS welcome the measures as a means to reduce possible transmission. All staff attending the office should regularly wash their hands, regularly use the sanitizer provided and strictly adhere to social distancing. If any member has any Covid symptoms, even if slight, they must inform their manager and self-isolate. And we would encourage all members to register for the Trace & Track app if they have not already done so.

Both local and Dept TUS will be engaging with management on an ongoing basis over the coming days and weeks and our members’ health and safety remains our priority.

Dooley Harte
Assistant Secretary