The Save Our Safety Campaign's work which emanated from the North West Region following a meeting of Postal and T&FS ASR/USRs in March this year, has culminated in the presentation of a draft Strategy Document with a working title of, “Delivering A Union Health and Safety Strategy For The Future.”
Derek Maylor, Chair of the North West BT Unions Health and Safety Coordinators Committee attended the meeting alongside Jill Coulson ASR one of the two founder members (with Jamie McGovern, ASR) of the SOS Campaign from the Postal Constituency.
Following the meeting, Derek told Unionsafety:
“There was a debate on “strategic draft document on Safety for the future”; this came about after the SOS Campaign meeting with Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary.
It was presented to the National Officer & Chairs & Secretaries meeting that is held several times a year with the CWU’s National Health, Safety and Environment Officer for agreement. The content, the concept, of the document was accepted and agreed and it will be tweaked further on 23rd October to then form a final draft which will be presented to the Union’s General Secretary."
"He will be contacted for a meeting with representatives attending from each Region to progress the document.
This initial draft document does give our vision for safety and until it is finalised, it cannot be shared, but can be highlighted at Forum events."
Derek also told Unionsafety that “Dave Joyce [National Health, Safety and Welfare Officer] thought that the “draft” was brilliant; well thought out; constructive; visionary & what was required.”
Once the final version of the strategy document is completed it will be presented to the General Secretary as agreed in the first meeting of the SOS Campaign which this website reported on in September (see: Positive Dialogue On Future Of CWU's Health & Safety Organisation Opened )
The document's layout and design was put together in PDF format by Unionsafety Web Editor, Chris Ingram, from content written by SOS Campaign members and representatives of the CWU's Regional H&S Forums of both constituencies. The front and back cover designs –see pic above – were submitted by Jamie McGovern. The document that evolved, was originally two versions which were then amalgamated in order to represent the views of the whole of CWU's Health and Safety Community, prior to being presented at the meeting with Dave Joyce.
The ‘Final’ version of the document will be based on this document and finalised by Jill Coulson and Andrew Hickerman to be presented in the name of all the CWU Health & Safety Regional Forums from both constituencies at a meeting with the General Secretary in November following the Re-Design Special Conference.
However, it must be said that one of the intention of the SOS Campaign originally was to ensure Health & Safety was included in the debates at the Special Conference, but it seems the Regional Forums were not fully behind that desired outcome of the campaigners.
As a result, Health and Safety has been marginalised in the same way as it always has been by General Conference and CWU HQ.
The work done by the SOS Campaign Group is now come to an end as far as the H&S Regional Forum's are concerned.
But it must not be forgotten that, if it were not for this group of dedicated individuals; Health, Safety and Environmental organisation in the CWU would be even further watered down from being the smallest department with the smallest budget, and would see these worker's rights and concerns being overtaken by Industrial Relations and political issues completely.
To date, some commentators may be forgiven for holding the view that the autonomy of Union Safety Reps, Regional H&S Forums and of the National Health Safety and Environment department has been totally compromised along with Regional representation of health and safety issues; as a result of Re-Design decisions.
However, the more pragmatic view is that the future of health and safety organisation in the CWU, is going to be addressed outside the redesign conference and via the forthcoming meeting with the Union's General Secretary, Dave Ward; at the end of this month.
This will address the Strategy Document "Delivering A Union Health and Safety Strategy For The Future" and the need for a working party with a remit to set CWU's Health Safety and Environment organisation and policy; which has not really been done before, especially not as part of the RE-Design Project whose aim appeared to be to quietly ignore the issue of health & safety altogether, as evidenced by the lack of any section on the Health & Safety organisation of the CWU.
But what can't be denied is that currently, CWU HQ appears to be more concerned about the political and industrial world than it is over what is the lifeblood of all Trade Unions – the health, safety and welfare of its members at work!
From Small Acorn Of NW USRs To The Oak Tree Of National USRs Campaign To Grow
CWU Health & Safety