Accommodation providers must support students

Mon 30 Mar, 2020

The Scottish Greens have called on student accommodation providers not to ‘trap’ students who have had to leave their halls early due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Scottish Greens Education Spokesperson Ross Greer MSP has called on the providers, including Hello Student and IQ Student Accommodation, to follow the example of Unite Students and others and release students who are impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency from their tenancies.

Ross Greer MSP said:

Scottish Greens welcome volunteer drive

Mon 30 Mar, 2020

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that the Scottish Government will launch the ‘Scotland Cares’ volunteering initiative tomorrow but has warned that frontline workers need clearer answers on ppe.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Scottish Green warning over Coronavirus impact on child poverty

Thu 26 Mar, 2020

The child poverty rate could be exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, the Scottish Greens have warned.

New child poverty figures show 24% of children in Scotland in the 2016-2019 period experienced relative child poverty, equivalent to 230,000 children.

With unprecedented numbers of people applying for Universal Credit as businesses across the country are closed and self-employed contracts are cancelled, Scottish Greens children and young people spokesperson Alison Johnstone said emergency measures should protect more children from falling into poverty.

Ross Greer: More questions than answers in SQA advice

Wed 25 Mar, 2020

Responding to new guidance issued by the SQA on coursework, Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said: “This statement from the SQA answers the major question around coursework not being required, but in doing so it opens up so many more.

“How will those who’ve already submitted coursework and those who’ve not be treated equally? What will the criteria for teacher judgements of estimated grades be? Will there be a robust appeals system for young people who don’t get the grade they expected.

Finnie: Scottish Government must ensure prison staff are paid

Tue 24 Mar, 2020

The Scottish Government must ensure that private prison operators Serco and Sodexo treat staff fairly during the COVID-19 crisis, says Scottish Greens Justice Spokesperson John Finnie MSP.

Mr Finnie made the call in parliament this afternoon, in response to a statement by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf. Trade unions have reported that a number of private companies including those who operate HMP Addiewell and HMP Kilmanock have refused to pay cleaners who are self-isolating or those with childcare challenges as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

John Finnie MSP said:

NHS staff coronavirus testing must be stepped up

Tue 24 Mar, 2020

Testing frontline NHS staff for coronavirus must be the urgent priority to ensure resilience in the health service, the Scottish Greens have said.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman pledged to expand testing for staff, but current guidance is that NHS staff with symptoms will not be tested. 

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone said:

Andy Wightman: more clarity needed on ‘essential’ work

Tue 24 Mar, 2020

There must be clearer guidance around what is and isn’t essential work during the coronavirus lockdown, Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman has said.

Andy Wightman raised the issue at a meeting of the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee in the Scottish Parliament, following reports that some businesses were attempting to operate as normal despite clear instructions from UK and Scottish Governments.

Scottish Greens call on supermarkets to reinvest in food supply chain

Sat 21 Mar, 2020

Scottish Greens have proposed measures to safeguard Scotland’s food supply chain during the coronavirus crisis.

Supermarket profits have been boosted by people stocking up, and these should be reinvested up the food supply chain to give farmers and foodbanks greater security, according to Scottish Greens food and farming spokesperson Mark Ruskell.

Greens react to UK Government emergency measures to cover wages

Fri 20 Mar, 2020

The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced plans to pay 80% of wages for employees unable to work due the coronavirus pandemic.

Responding, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “These measures from the UK Government are unfamiliar territory for the Conservatives, and should be welcomed as a recognition of the duty of care the state has for its citizens. If it had been done ten days ago, thousands of jobs would have been saved.

Finnie comments on Britannia hotels

Fri 20 Mar, 2020

Commenting on the treatment of staff at Coylumbridge hotel near Aviemore by Britannia Hotels, Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie said:

“I was absolutely furious when i first heard the news, my heart goes out to those staff who have been treated appallingly by Britannia.

“Everyone understands that this unprecedented crisis presents unique challenges, particularly for the tourism sector. The answer to that is to seek support, to collaborate and support one another. Britannia’s actions are utterly tone deaf.