Thanks to all UNISON members who took the time to respond to our brief survey. You have helped the Branch assess your experiences during the pandemic. The findings are summarised below:-
Despite the pandemic running for 12 months now, a quarter of you that continue to work on the frontline reported that you still do not have adequate PPE! With a fifth of you not seeing the risk assessment that covers your workplace. Half of respondents working on the frontline thought their management could do more to keep them safe at work.
Tony Barnsley, Branch Secretary for Sandwell General UNISON Branch added, “For workers such as Carers’, School Support Staff, Social Workers and all frontline workers’, these figures are truly shocking. Over 80% of our members working on the frontline are worried about contracting COVID at work, so it isn’t surprising that three quarters of them feel as though their mental health has suffered during the pandemic.
The fact that the Government is offering such frontline workers a pay freeze adds insult to injury.”
The online survey was conducted during February 2021.
For staff working from home, 55% stated that their mental health has suffered, with two thirds saying that post-pandemic they wanted a workplace where their team would be based. Working from home has resulted in almost 6 in every 10 respondents saying their eyesight has come under extra strain, yet most had not received an eye test funded by their employer in the last 2 years. Over a third stated that 12 months on they still did not have a suitable chair and desk to work at.
Tony Barnsley added, “Whilst some staff have enjoyed working from home, there are many that have found it difficult. Almost a half of respondents have to work from general living areas and most want the new world of work to involve a mixture of working from the office and home. The survey indicates that the continuation of working from home would be problematic for many of our members.”