PRESS RELEASE – Sickness Absence in Coventry City Council

Standard

Coventry City UNISON note that sickness absence due to stress has risen 10% in the last year.  At a time of austerity with many council jobs having been lost and demand for services ever increasing this is no surprise to us.  Coventry City UNISON are working with our members to try to address the issue of stress in the workplace and the causes of it.  The union will be coming forward with proposals for the council to consider a proper mental health strategy; this is an issue that UNISON has been raising for some considerable time even getting the employer to do some training with MIND but unfortunately for many of our members they have not seen any benefit of this.

 

Sarah Feeney, Branch Secretary said in response to Cllr Mutton’s comments, “We were very surprised to see Cllr Mutton’s comments regarding his belief that an unnamed union has been encouraging its members to go off sick.  The reality is that many of our members who are off sick with stress have needed time away from the workplace to get better.  Our considerable experience tells us that it is a matter for the medical profession to determine whether an employee is fit for work and not a trade union.  What is more have also consistently raised issues of Equality and Diversity that affect the culture of the work place which in turn impacts on absence. These concerns are well known to the employer. 

 

In a number of cases management inaction for a period of months has led to both the absence and the prolonged nature of it and we would be more than happy to discuss these matters with Cllr Mutton.  In respect of his comment about carers taking time off sick for childcare we do not recognise that from our work with our members; in reality a large amount of the sickness total is due to long periods of absence largely due to stress issues. The City Council needs to take seriously the issue of its duty of care to employees that is enshrined in law”

 

Message ends

 

 

World Mental Health Day – Wednesday 10th October 2018

Standard

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.

wmhd

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

NEC Elections – Ballot papers are being sent out! Please Use your vote!

Standard

All UNISON members will be receiving ballot papers from 3rd April for elections to the leadership of UNISON. The National Executive Council (NEC) is elected by members to speak on our behalf. It is really important that we vote in these elections as it helps shape the direction of our union.

Your Branch Committee has discussed who we would like to nominate.  We agreed that we believe the following candidates will best represent the interests of ordinary members facing attacks on workplace conditions and pay, the continuation of austerity and attacks from politicians seeking to divide people facing cuts by scapegoating people on grounds of ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, disability status, religion and more.

We also believe these candidates will fight for democracy and accountability to be defended and improved within UNISON. The Branch has therefore decided to support the following nominations:

Dave Auger – West Midlands Male Seat

Shazziah Rock – West Midlands Female Seat

Rose Brown – West Midlands Female Seat

Andrew Berry – Disabled Members General Seat

Pam Howard – Disabled Members Female Seat

April Ashley – Black Members Female Seat

Hugo Pierre – Black Members Male Seat

Jane Doolan – Local Government Female Seat

Andrea Egan – Local Government Female Seat

Paul Gilroy – Local Government Male Seat

Paul Holmes – Local Government General Seat

Josie Runwick – Young Members Seat

NEC members are elected by all members of UNISON via a postal vote. Members elect candidates to represent their region and their service group. There are also additional seats for Black members and young members. As with all other UNISON elections, the union’s principles of “proportionality and fair representation” means that some seats are reserved for women and low-paid members, so that the make-up of the NEC fairly represents the wider union. Elections take place every two years, with members receiving a ballot paper with a prepaid envelope to return it to an independent scrutineer (an independent person who checks the ballot is fair and counts the votes).

Results are usually announced around one month after the voting deadline.

Thanks, Sarah Feeney, Branch Secretary, Coventry City UNISON

DOWNLOAD OUR FLYER HERE: hotline030417

necleaflet