PRESS RELEASE – Sickness absence at Coventry City Council – ‘Mental Health Matters’

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UNISON welcomes the opportunity to respond to the comments made in the Coventry Evening Telegraph by Councillor Mutton, Cabinet Member for Resources, about sickness absence at Coventry City Council.

We too are very concerned at the upward trend in sickness absence in the organisation. Just a few weeks ago UNISON highlighted the issue of mental health in the workplace and held open meetings on Mental Health in the Workplace, which were well received. The aim of these meetings is to record the issues that affect our members’ mental health and well-being and to begin to address them with our employer.

We have raised questions about this matter with the employer over a number of years, not least as they apply to the Equality Act and the Health and Safety at Work Act. The employer has a duty of care to ensure employees are kept safe at work in all aspects, including health and well-being.

They also have a duty to ensure that those employees are properly supported in order that they can carry out their roles. We have also raised issues about bullying, harassment and cultural issues of discrimination many times with the City Council.

We know that the vast majority of absence is genuine. We also know that austerity and cuts to Council budgets have had a devastating impact on the workplace as employees are asked to take on more work with less staff which simply cannot continue.

Public Service should be respected and embraced. Our members often go above and beyond the call of duty.  That needs to be recognised. For too long our members have been undermined by austerity. To excel, we need to become an employer of choice. Therefore it is important that our members are valued employees regardless of whom they are. The Council could embrace Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We are at our best when everyone feels valued.

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Please phone 02476 550829 or email sarah.feeney@unisoncoventry.co.uk  or richard.harty@unisoncoventry.co.uk with any enquiries.

Mental Health in Coventry City Council – Update to Council Staff

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Meetings identify significant issues around Mental Health & Wellbeing in Coventry City Council

UNISON has held two meetings with staff in recent weeks to discuss the impact of mental health on the workplace, how issues have been with by the employer and what other steps might have been taken to address them.

We wish to thank all those who attended the meetings.  Staff gave the union a big insight into the depth of the issues and concerns that people have.  For some this may not have been easy.  We really appreciate the input we have received.

UNISON will now be considering the information we have received, identifying any common themes, and making arrangements to establish a working group with members.  The working group’s task will be to come up with specific actions for the employer which could improve Mental Health & Wellbeing in the workplace.

Together we can be better. Join UNISON today to help us fight to end discrimination.

Download this statement – hotline281118

Thanks

Coventry City UNISON

Exciting, Free Training Event for school support staff

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This offer is open to all support staff. It will be of particular interest to UNISON members, given that it concerns opportunities available through UNISON. We suggest interested parties contact us at the earliest date. Places are limited. While we were able to secure funding for this event, we don’t know if, or when, we will be able to do this again.

We have taken the unusual step (for us) of running this on a weekend. We know staff are busy at work and may have to juggle family commitments as well during the week. And the lead up to Christmas can be stressful. So to sweeten the deal, we are offering refreshments and a draw for shopping vouchers, so participants have the option of combining the event with their Christmas shopping.

We look forward to receiving expressions of interest in attending as per the contact details on the poster.

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In the meantime, we are still accepting bookings for Stars in our Schools events in schools and star nominations for a national prize draw. Contact us if you need further details of these.

Unity Demonstration – No to Racism. No to Fascism – November 17

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THIS ONE IS LOOKING TO BE VERY BIG AND VERY POSITIVE – PLEASE SUPPORT 🙂
Transport details: Coaches provided by Unite the Union.
Phone their regional office to book seats by ringing West Mids Reg Unite office: Sallie Aspindale 0121 647 4832 / or email membership.westmids@unitetheunion.org.
Alternatively people can book via the web address or scan the code on the flyer.
6f49c310-3504-47cc-9600-834df6ce3f43

World Mental Health Day – Wednesday 10th October 2018

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Mental Health & Wellbeing

Lets’ End Mental Health Discrimination Together

Mental health and wellbeing are major issues in our world and also in the workplace today. A recently produced report in the West Midlands says that “40% of all absenteeism can be attributed to poor mental health. In five years, this is expected to rise to 70%”. These figures are truly shocking and serve as a wake-up call to our employer for appropriate supportive action for all employees. Austerity cuts have left staff under more pressure, facing increased stress and anxiety.

For our part UNISON takes the issue very seriously and has worked with the City Council and MIND to provide a training programme for managers on Mental Health. We would like to see this go further and introduce training for all employees on Mental Health awareness. For those of us who represent members in the workplace we have seen a marked increase in mental health issues presented to us. Mental health needs a much more prominent role in our workplace, a subject which is still too much of a taboo. We must challenge this and as the report suggests “value mental health wellbeing as an asset, not as a hindrance”.

We must create a more open culture and we can do this if our employer steps up to the issue and works with us. We know we work in an environment of constant pressure too and this must be balanced by a supportive workplace culture where employees feel valued.

We have raised the issue with the City Council and intend to discuss a new strategy for Mental Health in our workplaces. Together we can be better. Join UNISON today to help us fight to end discrimination.

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Follow WMHD on twitter via – https://twitter.com/WMHDay

Palestine – Coventry City UNISON members hear more about the Reality.

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Coventry City branch members were invited to our Branch Committee meeting on Thursday 20th September to hear about an important campaign that the branch supports.

Members heard from Rachel, a UNISON member, who gave an update on the Working With Villages in Palestine campaign. This is a campaign that the branch agreed to continue to support.

Working With Villages in Palestine supports the establishment of sustainable projects in local communities in Palestine, that enable vulnerable people develop positive initiatives that build self-reliance, self-esteem and community endeavour whilst living in an extremely challenging situation.

The campaign is committed to raising awareness of the conditions under which Palestinians live and the daily problems they encounter. 100% of funds raised is spent in Palestine.

Find out more via http://www.working-with-villages.com