Union's warnings after Neath Port Talbot sick day levels revealed
A STARK warning has been issued to Neath Port Talbot Council by a union, following the revelation that sickness levels are continuing to fall.
On Tuesday, the Post revealed that in the first quarter of this year - from April to June - there had been a fall of 13 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The council said it was on track to fulfil the commitment in the Workforce Agreement to reduce sickness absence in all service areas by 10 per cent by March 2014.
However, responding to the new figures, Mark Fisher, branch chair of Unison in the county, said there were genuine reasons why some members are on long-term sick leave.
He said: "Unison will continue to work with the local authority in reducing sickness levels under the workforce strategy agreement.
"However, Unison believe that the authority should not use this maximising at work policy as tool to dismiss our members when they need support when in their hour of need.
"We are sending a warning to the local authority that reducing the sickness levels is not the only answer in reducing their budgets, there are genuine reasons why members are on sick leave and these reasons should be explored before dismissing them on inability to attend work."
He said the branch would continue to work with the local authority to keep costs down.
"UNISON will fight to keep the in-house services and the terms and conditions at all costs and will continue to work with the local authority to make these in-house services affordable compared to the private sector," he said.