UNISON Scotland has surveyed our members working in transactional jobs across Scotland’s public services. They are the staff who take the money, outline what the charges are and explain the bill. We wanted to find out how their working lives had been changed in a climate of ‘austerity’ and increasing demands for efficiency.
This is the latest in a series of such surveys undertaken by UNISON Scotland – recent other reports have examined staff working in waste management and mental health services and as hospital porters.
This report varies in form from those studies in that we did not specifically ask this group of staff the impact that stagnating wages has been having on their standard of living. This issue is well covered in our previous reports which tell an identical story of money going less far, of lack of holidays, of struggling to make ends meet, having to exert real care when shopping, of increasing personal debts and so dismally and disgracefully on.
The transactional staff surveyed here work on similar grades and in similar workplaces to the subjects of previous studies. It was felt that for those who have not yet grasped that life has got considerably harder for workers in public services in recent years – one more example was unlikely to be persuasive. Instead this report focuses more closely on the working environment.