Renfrewshire Council

Take 5 Staff News - 4 March 2021

Welcome to this week's Take 5, our weekly staff update, designed to bring you our latest news items in a five minute read...

In this week's issue:

View the PDF version of this week's Take 5 [6MB]


Your weekly coronavirus update

The Scottish Government has confirmed that all remaining primary school children are set to return to full-time from 15 March, with all secondary pupils returning on a limited basis. Further details on the return of secondary pupils will be provided in the coming days following updated Scottish Government guidance. Regulated childcare such as after school clubs and breakfast clubs for primary school children will also re-start on 15 March.

The First Minister highlighted that recent data suggests case numbers are declining to their lowest level since the first week of October 2020 and indicated that further consideration will be given in the next few weeks as to whether it might be possible to accelerate the exit from lockdown any earlier than the originally planned date of the end of April.  However, she added that care must be taken to prevent us losing this progress and going backwards.

So, it's vital we continue to protect each other by following these four key steps:

  1. Get vaccinated when invited
  2. Follow health protection measures (FACTS)
  3. If you have symptoms, self-isolate immediately and book a test
  4. Follow restrictions including travel advice (here and overseas)

For more details and the latest information visit the Scottish Government website.


Revised Pay and Grading Structure

From Monday 1 April 2021, subject to approval, we will be implementing a revised pay and grading structure for local government employees. This is to meet the requirements of the 2018-21 pay settlement agreement. This does not cover Teachers, Craft Operatives or Chief Officers.

We have issued letters to all staff detailing the proposed changes with information on how these impact you. Nobody will see a reduction in their pay because of these proposals which are being supported by our Trades Unions and the new arrangements will benefit a number of staff.

We are confident that our proposed structure is fair, affordable, and sustainable in the longer term and acknowledges the valuable contribution you make in delivering essential services to our local communities every single day.

What is changing?

The biggest change to the pay and grading structure is the consolidation of the Living Wage into the structure as an hourly rate of pay.  Employees receiving the Living Wage will no longer see it as a supplement on their payslip. Instead they will see the Living Wage as their minimum hourly rate of pay for all pay and allowances.

As part of this review, we have also proposed further improvements to the remainder of the pay structure, including:

  • Reducing the overall number of pay grades
  • Restoring pay differentials between grades
  • Removing overlaps between pay grades
  • Reducing the length of each grade to a maximum of five incremental pay steps by year 2025, meaning everyone moves through their grade quicker

The Trades Unions are currently balloting their members on these proposals and we would encourage you to use your vote and accept the proposals as soon as possible and before the closing date.


Thinking of retiring soon? Book your space on an upcoming pre-retirement course

Keeping your retirement plans on track can be challenging. That's why in collaboration with our partners Affinity Connect, we are offering another series of pre-retirement courses.

These virtual sessions can be accessed by both personal and council devices via Microsoft Teams and can help you if you are thinking about retiring, taking your pension benefits within the next three years or are simply looking to understand the key financial considerations for retirement.

The courses will take place on 14 April, 14 June, 5 October and 2 December from 1pm-3pm and on 25 August from 10am-12pm.

Don't miss out - we would encourage early booking as spaces will be limited. 

To book your space contact Affinity Connect at bookings@affinityconnect.org or by phone on 0800 019 6076.

More information can be found under 'Training Courses and iLearn > Employee Essentials' in the People Development section of our intranet or by emailing Lenore.Robson@renfrewshire.gov.uk.


Keep Safe Awareness Day

Today (4 March) is the first ever Keep Safe Awareness Day, an event organised by Renfrewshire based charity I Am Me - who aim to create a movement for change through raising awareness of Disability Hate Crime.

Supported by the council and working in collaboration with Police Scotland, the Keep Safe initiative supports local organisations and businesses to create 'Keep Safe places' for anyone feeling lost, scared, vulnerable or simply in need of some breathing space. 

All Keep Safe places display the recognisable logo in their window and are listed on the I Am Me website and on the handy Keep Safe Scotland app which enables users to map out Keep Safe places, locate their nearest one, plan safe routes and report hate crime to the police.

Designed and developed with people in Renfrewshire, the initiative is growing larger and more successful by the day with over 800 Keep Safe places throughout Scotland and 130 of those in Renfrewshire.

Visit the I Am Me Scotland website for more information and to find out how you can get involved.


We value learning - Georgia's story

Since our nursery expansion began, 25 Modern Apprentices (MAs) have been pursuing their careers across our nurseries. Georgia Knox has successfully completed her MA and is now an early learning and childcare officer at Spateston Early Learning and Childcare Centre.

She said "I received fantastic support as a modern apprentice, both from staff within the nursery and from my assessor. It helped me develop and see that I was capable of so many things I didn't even know I could do.

"Working in Early Years is not an easy job, but I love it. Working as part of the team, having responsibilities and being able to create and lead activities has been a fantastic learning experience for me."

As it's Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we asked Georgia if she recommends this path.

"Yes! It was easy to apply for and I can't recommend it enough. I enjoy waking up each morning and can't wait to get into work and see the wee faces of the children."


Our Wellbeing

Our Staff Wellbeing webpage is there to provide you with information and contacts to help keep you well during this time.


Got a story?

Don't forget, we'd love to hear from you! If you have a story to tell or something interesting to share, get in touch with us by completing the following Internal Comms Request Form.