A UNION has called for scools and nurseries to close in areas facing the Scottish Goverment's 'tier four' level of coronavirus restrictions. 

Under the toughest level of restriction, which come in place at 6pm on Friday, all non-essential shops, as well as pubs and restaurants, gyms, libraries and hairdressers, would be closed.

In total, 11 local authority areas will be lockeddown in this manner, including Glasgow, Renfrewshire, North and South Lanarkshire and Stirling.

The restrictions will be in place for three weeks - and will be lifted on 11 December.

READ MORE: Science shows it is right to keep Scots schools open, say ministers

However, unlike the lockdown in March, schools and nurseries will remain open, prompting UNISON to raise fears about the safety of its members in the teaching profession.

Brian Smith, UNISON Glasgow Branch Secretary said: "The UNISON Branch firmly believes that schools and early years establishments should not be fully operational during Level Four.

"We oppose the Scottish Government's position of attempting to maintain current service arrangements.

"We and other trade unions including the EIS are lobbying the Scottish Government on this matter. There needs to be fewer staff and pupils attending schools and early years establishments." 

He added: "There are a variety of possible arrangements to deliver this and Glasgow City Council needs to implement them." 


The Union has urged teachers and other workers to speak up if they feel their health is being compromised by the plan. 

Mr Smith said: "If groups of workers believe that the current health and safety mitigations in their workplace are inadequate then they should contact the trade union. 

"There are several courses of action open to trade union members in these circumstances. "

READ MORE: Why are schools open in Scotland? Scottish Government reasoning explained

The union official's calls echo those of the NASUWT teaching union, which has sais that blended learning - where pupils learn at home and school - should be used to help protect pupils and staff during the next few weeks. 

Teachers' union the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) general secretary Larry Flanagan has also raised concerns about the tier four schools plan.

He said previously: "The EIS is clear that, in areas that are now at Level 4, the current policy of keeping schools operating as normal on a full-time basis is at odds with delivering effective virus suppression."