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CWU's EndGame Campaign - A Mental Health Issue?

The CWU's EndGame Campaign is as much to do with mental health as it is job security.

A bold and distorted statement you may well respond; but the facts and the campaign speak for themselves.

One of the major impacts upon mental health is stress, and what can be more stressful than worrying you may be about to lose your job because your employer has decided to outsource your work?

Stress leads to anxiety, depression and often sees the onset of additional mental health illnesses, physical health issues such as heart disease, and even suicide!

BT's recent announcement, without any prior consultation with it's major Trade Union the CWU, that it intends to outsource Facility Services - yet again; came as a big shock to CWU members affected - and just before Christmas too!

Especially because in 2012 BT had decided that the ten year tenure of outsource companies providing facility services had been a failure, and that such work should be provided 'in-house' by BT staff.

The CWU's National Officer Sally Bridge issued this communique to all BT Branches:

"An announcement has been made today that BTPFS intend to outsource BT Facilities Services to CBRE and ISS from April 2019.

The rationale that has been given to the CWU is as follows:

· Facilities Services is not core business.
· BTPFS has failed in its initial objective to win other FS business outside of BT.
· Efficiency savings.

The CWU has expressed shock and outrage at the company’s intention to outsource to private contractors CBRE and ISS and we have informed BTPFS that we intend to campaign against this decision. We believe that there is not only a risk to our members’ job security and terms and conditions of employment, but it also risks reputational harm to BT."

Some three days later a national campaign entitled #EndGame was initiated and so began a number of Regional Demonstrations outside key BT buildings to protest against the outsourcing and the subsequent job insecurity this was creating for BT's facility services employees.

When it comes right down to it, there is absolutely nothing in life which does not effect our health and safety - and in this case, our mental health!

Imagine being told that you may lose your job or that you will be sold off to a new employer whose workplace terms and conditions may well be far lower than those you currently have?

Imagine being told this when you are a parent, have a mortgage to pay, and wanted a decent Christmas for your family?

Imagine being financially insecure and knowing that we are all just two months away from becoming homeless due to inability to pay rent or a mortgage?

Now tell these workers that this is not a stressful, anxious and worrying time that may keep you sleepless at nights, cause strain between family members; and perhaps even exacerbating of an existing mental health issue you are dealing with?

Workplace stress is a killer and there is no way of denying that fact. Not only that it can destroy families, lead to alcoholism, substance abuse and even crime.

So whilst the most obvious problem workers at BT are facing is not knowing what their future employment situation will be, it is easy to forget the negative affects upon the mental health of those currently facing an uncertain future.

Union Safety Reps will be no stranger to workplace stress and the need to prove support and advice to those members he/she represents.

For these reasons, Unionsafety and the whole of the CWU Health & Safety Community fully supports the CWU's #Endgame campaign and wishes all workers in similar circumstances, success in their campaigns for justice, stability of employment; and as a result, good mental health.

Source: CWU / Tracy Fussy (pic)



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