Union blasts 'appalling' abuse aimed at council negotiator amid strikes

The statement came after Unison's Johanna Baxter faced criticism in The National newspaper over the weekend.

Unison blasts ‘appalling’ abuse aimed at council negotiator amid strikes Getty Images

Scotland’s largest trade union has criticised “appalling” online abuse directed towards its council negotiator amid strikes in schools across the country.

Unison blasted attacks against its “hard-working and highly effective” local government negotiator Johanna Baxter which it said “have been led by a national newspaper”.

The statement was issued after The National reported on her work with the Labour Party over the weekend.

The union’s Scottish secretary Lilian Macer said: “I am appalled at the personal abuse that has been directed towards a highly effective hard-working member of my staff over the weekend.

“It’s depressing that the attacks have been led by a national newspaper. But depressingly familiar that once again, a woman in the public eye gets horrendous online abuse.”

The statement comes as many schools across Scotland closed on Tuesday due to industrial action by essential staff who are Unison members.

Unison opted to ballot school staff while continuing with industrial action this week.

Ms Macer continued: “I had hoped Scotland could have a mature debate about finances, council services and how we reward council workers.

“I expect Unison to be held accountable for the decisions we make. But such a horrendous abuse of one person should not be tolerated – it is unacceptable.

“These attacks are an attempt to undermine our unions democracy and weaken our resolve in pursuit of a decent pay rise for our members. Unison will not stand for anyone getting such disgraceful personal abuse.”

The National reported that Ms Baxter is the chair of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), its ruling body, and a member of the party’s Labour to Win pro-Starmer faction.

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