Calls have been made for people to respect council staff carrying out essential duties across Scotland during the coronavirus pandemic.
Recycling workers, park groundskeepers, civil enforcement officers, road engineers and bus drivers have been targeted in a recent spate of abuse, with the Local Government Association (LGA) warning that more incidents could follow.
This week North Lanarkshire Council was forced to make a statement pleading with the public to not harass its staff.
It said: “A number of health and social care staff have been verbally abused while delivering care to our most vulnerable.
“Our staff should never face any abuse of any kind.
“They deserve our thanks and their dedication and empathy should be recognised by everyone during this extremely challenging time.”
Last night Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) President, and Aberdeenshire councillor, Alison Evison, said people should “pay tribute” to council staff, like they do to other key workers such as NHS staff.
She said: “All local government staff should always be supported and respected – but it is even more important that they are in these unprecedented and most challenging of times – when they are needed more than ever as they go about delivering for communities.
“These and many other key council workers are vital and doing everything that they can to maintain services to our communities and to keep our residents supported.
“In addition we should also remember and pay tribute to those Local Government workers working alongside our staff in the NHS and the other blue light services to keep us safe.
“Many others are working behind the scenes to maintain the systems that keep our local services functioning.”
Larry Flanagan, of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland’s biggest teaching union, added: “The work that is being undertaken in hub schools by teachers, janitors, cleaners, catering staff and others, is critical to supporting NHS workers and reducing the number of deaths caused by COVID 19.
“Everyone has a part to play in Scotland’s response to this crisis.”