Disabled workers rights must be protected and improved

Deirdre Macdonald

Deirdre Macdonald

#ulgc16 Aberdeen City’s Deirdre Macdonald, in her maiden speech to conference, pledged to go back to her branch and work to improve their council’s sickness absence and disability leave policies, as Local Government Conference backed a campaign for the protection of disabled workers and an improvement of their rights.

Deirdre told delegates that Aberdeen City Council had one of the worst Sickness Absence Records.

Deirdre said, “With that in mind I introduced a discussion about one action the council could take to reduce these figures and make staff who have declared their disability to the employer feel more self respect rather than being made to feel a drain on resources.

She warned that if other branches are contemplating this it may take a measure of determination.

“It has taken at least 18 months to arrive at a form of words acceptable all round,” said Deirdre.

“I found that the item often fell off agendas and I had to keep re-instating it.

“What we have is to my mind a starter for 10 because what has been achieved is not that different from the experience of staff who have enlightened managers.

“However this will now apply across the whole employer. Having an agreed policy means there is opportunity for redress,” added Deirdre.

“What the employer doesn’t know is that the Branch will not settle for what we have now achieved but will return to the table in the next year to push the door to equality even wider.”

Local Government Reports by Kate Ramsden, Marie Quigley and John Stevenson

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