UNION bosses say it would be ‘unfair’ if non-school staff who couldn’t make it into work due to last week’s snowstorms were forced to take annual leave.

The Tele understands that the council has advised staff that they will be required to use flexi-leave or holidays if they were unable to get in to work during last week’s whiteout.

Employees in schools were informed they would receive paid time off, due to all primaries and secondaries being closed down.

Robin Taggart, local branch secretary for Unison, said: “The council needs to ensure that, whatever decisions are taken, that these decisions are equitable for all staff. 

“We accept that the decision to give staff in schools paid time was correct. 

“To then insist that non-school based staff use annual or flexi-leave is divisive and inequitable. 

“We are asking the council simply to exercise some common sense.”

Unison say they are holding talks with the local authority about the arrangements for staff who were not at work following the blizzards. 

Mr Taggart added: “The Scottish Government were telling people who lived in amber weather warning areas not to travel as they were risking not just their lives but the lives of others. 

“Unison warned the council last week that they were compromising staff safety with non-essential services remaining open.

“We are currently exploring with the council different options including the possibility that, in the circumstances, they relax their policy.”

One council worker, who asked not to be named, says the dispute has affected morale.

He said: “The whole workforce feels particularly disgruntled.

“They are going to lose the goodwill of their workforce.”

Council chief executive Aubrey Fawcett told the Tele: “The safety of staff, clients and residents is absolutely critical to the way we work and guides everything that we do.

“The council agreed last week to discuss these issues with union colleagues as soon as possible this week when the weather had subsided. 

“That took place on Tuesday and was very constructive. 
“We await confirmation of the final view from our union colleagues, which we expect by the end of the week.”