‘Mass resignation’ at council facility after claims that bosses “refused to stop” lockdown breaches

Six members of staff have resigned from a council facility in Falkirk
Six members of staff have resigned from a council facility in Falkirk after claims that bosses were not enforcing lockdown rulesSix members of staff have resigned from a council facility in Falkirk after claims that bosses were not enforcing lockdown rules
Six members of staff have resigned from a council facility in Falkirk after claims that bosses were not enforcing lockdown rules

Staff at a council facility supporting care leavers staged a 'mass resignation' amid allegations teens were breaching the lockdown by dealing drugs and having partners over.

It was reported that six members of staff quit due to fears their health was being put at risk by behaviour which breached the lockdown - while claiming bosses refused to stop it.

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The facility, run by LinkLiving on behalf of Falkirk Council, in Grangemouth, Falkirk, was hit with a mass resignation, according to union Unite.

Workers claimed kids were dealing drugs and having partners over in a breach of the lockdown, while asking for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source said: "The last six remaining full time members of staff have all handed in their notice including me.

"Link has also kept the communal area open despite government advice to close it and are refusing to stop the service users' partners coming into the flats during the COVID lockdown.

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"They also won't stop visitors coming to their flats too, putting the local community at risk of this virus.

"Some of the young people have been taking and selling cannabis within the building.

"When raising this with our manager the response we got was it is their flat, they can do what they want."

Workers claim they received an e-mail from LinkLiving bosses, who run the premises on behalf of Falkirk Council, stating youngsters can have visitors over.

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The grievance said: "By advising this Link are failing to protect staff as best they can and also failing to educate and promote government guidance to the service users, to ensure they are as safe and well as they can be.

"Being lenient with the rules does not help them, and minimises the seriousness of the crisis and risk to all.

"We feel there should be a strict restriction to people's partners visiting, as there is for everyone else who do not live together in the same home.

"Management trusting these partners is irrelevant when it comes to the health and safety of staff and young people, we cannot trust an invisible virus.

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"Our health and safety is being compromised and we are not willing to accept this.

"We also demand the appropriate PPE is provided or there may be certain tasks/support we are unable to provide if we feel unsafe at work."

The grievance added both staff and a service user have complained about the smell of cannabis in the building as service users smoke this.

It stated: "We have raised this with management and have been told service users can do as they want in their own flats.

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LinkLiving refused to comment on allegations six staff members had resigned.

A LinkLiving spokesman said: "The project is run in line with all best practice health and safety guidance, including the current guidance relating to keeping people safe during COVID-19.

"The communal area is sometimes open to young people for essential face to face support with staff.

"It is large enough to facilitate social distancing, and the use of it is in line with robust risk assessments.

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Carrie Binnie, Unite the union industrial officer, said: "This is the reason for the mass resignations.

"At a time when the country is relying on key workers we ask LinkLiving management to reflect on why a full team of staff have resigned on mass even in the circumstances when some don't even have another job to go to."

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