A union chief hit out at Aberdeen City Council after a survey suggested stress among staff is at an “all time high”.
Unison has published its stress in the workplace survey and urged the local authority to take its findings into consideration.
The study found staff at the local authority feel they are struggling under an increasing workload due to staff reductions and increased digitisation.
Of 204 respondents, 173 people felt they had been subjected to excessive demands at work, while 121 of 156 people questioned felt the council did not understand stress caused by organisational change.
Around 1,500 members of the union in Aberdeen are employed by the council.
Unison steward Les Tarr said: “There is a worrying trend developing and we are concerned about the cases stewards are seeing. We are seeing a lot more stress-related cases.
“We are trying to make sure there is proper consideration of what the impact of any changes are so stress levels of members can be reduced.
“The council needs to work with the unions and they need to take these findings into consideration.
“We will be looking for the council to sit down for regular meetings with the unions.
“They need to be aware of what the impact of making changes are and follow proper procedures.”
Staff also felt they did not have enough control over their work, were not supported by their employer and felt workplace relationships were not supportive. And some felt managers did not understand their role.
One respondent said: “There is zero understanding of rocketing workloads or any structure within which would deal with such issues. Stress levels are at an all time high.”
Another added: “There is no regard given to the excessive workload.”
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An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our staff is extremely important to us, and it is for this reason that the Council’s Mental Health Action Plan was produced and approved at Staff Governance Committee earlier this month.
“The action plan builds on the work undertaken taken during our Mental Health Week in October 2019, and we now have 40 Mental Health First Aiders in place across the organisation, with the aim of increasing this figure within the next few months.
“Although the Unison’s survey represents a very small sample size, approximately 2% of Aberdeen City Council’s workforce, all feedback is helpful in terms of exploring how we can better support employees at times of uncertainty and change whether that is in a work or personal capacity.
“Our transformation programme relies on staff feedback and ongoing staff and trade union consultation and engagement.”
Councillor Yvonne Allan, staff governance committee convener, said: “This administration is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Unison and other trade unions in any campaign they have to protect Aberdeen City Council from SNP austerity cuts.”
She added: “We will always support any of our employees struggling with stress as part of our investment in tackling mental health.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Despite a decade of UK Government austerity, we have ensured our partners in local government receive a fair settlement that supports vital public services.”