Workers at Dundee’s libraries on flexible contracts have attacked management for failing to give them information on coronavirus.
So-called “relief” staff, who are called in to cover full-time librarians on sick leave or holiday, claim they are being left out of the loop.
At present, relief workers are not given full access to the organisation’s IT system.
This means they have to share log-ins with full-time staff – typically an IT security no-no – and even have to lie to the public if there aren’t permanent staff on shift to operate facilities which require a log-in.
They also don’t receive a Leisure and Culture email address – leaving them out of the loop of information filtering down from LACD bosses.
The anomaly only applies to casual library workers who sign up to what are essentially zero-hours contracts, but with the flexibility of refusing shifts.
Flexible staff elsewhere in the organisation are given full access to the system.
However, workers say that what was an inconvenience is now turning into something altogether dangerous because they aren’t being updated on what to do if they believe they have contracted coronavirus.
One worker, who spoke to the Tele on condition of anonymity, said: “We don’t have any of the access to emails, internal digital portals, or online payslips.
“Other Leisure and Culture casual staff do get access to the online stuff – as a result, we get no information from higher-ups on things like health and safety, changes to policy, or current issues like coronavirus.
“We’re entirely reliant on permanent staff mentioning it if we’re working together.”
Those who are displaying symptoms of the bug, also known as COVID-19, or have travelled from a high-risk area, are advised to self-isolate for two weeks.
The worker added: “The accounts are also linked to the photocopiers and printers, so as a fun bonus, relief staff can’t use the photocopiers unless we use someone else’s account.
“If there’s two relief staff on in a library and no permanent staff, we have to say the photocopier is broken to the public because we can’t authorise photocopies.
“I love working in the libraries, but this situation is mad.”
Jim McFarlane, branch secretary for public sector union Unison, said: “I would have concerns about anyone missing out on information about coronavirus and work information in general from an employee.
“We have a meeting with Leisure and Culture on Thursday and it’s something we will look to raise with them.”
An LACD spokesman said: “We are currently progressing the addition of casual staff to the corporate system which includes email access.
“However, we always expect that line managers pass on any relevant information to staff who do not have access to corporate email.”