Unions are ramping up pressure on Aberdeen City Council before a crunch meeting on a controversial new smoking policy this week.
Previously union chiefs said their members who work in the council had been warned that they could be fined for lighting up at work – even if they worked in parks or outdoor depots.
It is understood that under the “smoke free” policy adopted by the council, on-the-spot fines can be issued to workers by environmental health wardens and the Unite union have maintained that the policy was implemented without any “face to face” consultation.
Now, north-east Unite boss Tommy Campbell is due to meet with the local authority’s chief executive Angela Scott for talks this week.
He has called for more clarity on the policy.
He said: “We have told the council many times that they need to ensure that all staff are properly briefed about any new policy that affects them.
“There are plenty of HR staff and managers in the council who need to get out and about and meet front line staff to explain the council policies.
“These briefings by HR staff and managers should be face to face and staff should be given enough time off to read the policy and understand its implications.
“It’s clear from checking out with our union members there a lot of council staff who are clearly unaware of the new Smoke Free policy and its implications for those who still smoke.
“It seems this is a government policy particularly targeting business areas. Colleagues who work outside have particular concerns.
“If you work in a park then do you have to leave the park to smoke?”
But a council spokeswoman said: “Following approval by Aberdeen City Council’s finance, policy and resources committee in June, a revised smoking at work policy was introduced across the organisation at all council properties to protect the health and well-being of employees.
“The policy is in line with the tobacco control strategy for Scotland which recommends all local authorities implement fully smoke-free policies and was approved following extensive consultation.
“The trades unions were also consulted on the contents of the revised policy and there were no disagreements on its provisions.”