2023-07-31 16:07

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Stalwart of the NW BT Unions Health & Safety Co-ordinators Committee Retires

The North West BT Unions Health and Safety Co-ordinators Committee has been going in many guises since the late 70’s, and for those of us having taken part in the Co-ord throughout its many incarnations, one of our members seems to have always been there forever!

Derek Maylor, Branch Health and Safety Co-ordinator from CWU’s Greater Merseyside Amal Branch; is retiring from BT at the end of June 2023, although not from the CWU as he will be taking up his role as one of the hundreds of CWU Retired Members and joining their ranks of activists.

In a tribute paid to him following his attendance at his final Co-ord meeting last week, 16th June 2023, Committee Secretary John Southwell stated for the minutes:

‘Derek Maylor reported that he was retiring & would be leaving the company at the end of the month.

On behalf of everyone (past & present) on the NW BTU committee can I say a heartfelt thank you for your contribution and commitment over many years in your role as a H & S champion for our members within the CWU.

We will miss your comprehensive and informed contributions, reports and questions at meetings and your company in the pub!  

Can we also take this opportunity to wish you every success in your new life in retirement, getting involved in, among other things, the CWU retired section.  We look forward to seeing you at CWU Conference if not before then of course!

Good health to you Derek and the very best for the future.’

John Marsh, Chairperson of the Co-ord expressed his thanks to Derek for his dedicated work on health and safety over the years, and in particular for his support as a very knowledgeable and experienced colleague:

“I have been the Branch Health & Safety Co-ordinator for over 20 years and during that time the NW BT Unions Health & Safety Co-ordinators Committee has had Derek at the helm.

His leadership and support has been invaluable in helping us trying to ensure our colleagues remain safe and well whilst at work. Derek’s knowledge and experience acquired over the years has shaped the health and safety policy within and outside of BT, being involved with many organisations and health and safety groups.

Derek will be truly missed by all his colleagues, but I am sure as a retired member of the CWU his passion for health and safety will continue and hopefully he will still be a key member of the North West CWU health and safety community.

Over the past 20 years Derek and I have attended so many conferences, events, training courses and even degree courses together, that I have lost count, so for me to attend future events without him will be very strange.

image: Derek with pintHowever, Derek sending us scenic pictures of him enjoying his retirement with a pint in his hand is not going to be great but hopefully the novelty will wear off and here’s hoping he gets back to work soon has a retired member to continue to defend workers’ rights.

It truly has been a privilege to work alongside someone so passionate and committed over the years that filling his shoes is going to be challenging.

On behalf of everyone on the BT Unions Committee, all that’s left to say is all the very best for the future Derek and don’t disappear off the face of the earth as we might still need you and your wealth of experience at some point in the near future.”    

Unionsafety website editor, member of the CWU Greater Mersey Amal Branch and Co-ord member Chris Ingram, said that he will miss the knowledge and advice that Derek has shared with the co-ord and thanked him on a personal level for the many years of support that he, and others have received from Derek:

“As they say, all good things come to an end. But I see Derek’s departure from the NW BT Unions Co-ord as merely a transition from being listed on the minutes of our meetings as a USR and Branch Co-ordinator, to being a ‘retired member’ of the Co-ord.

As such Derek has an important role to play in continuity of the knowledge and experience of the Co-ord and ensuring that our Retired Members benefit from his continued commitment to Health & Safety at work and to that of the communities in which we live.

image: Derek Lake DistrictDerek, has always championed the fact that Union Safety Reps have always played a part in their local communities’ and that just because a person is retired, does not mean that Health & Safety in the home, workplace and community is not important and pertinent to the quality of their lives!

In fact, given the push from the Government to extend our working lives beyond the age of 65, the need for good health & safety practices and adherence to H&S legislation in our workplaces and communities; is even more relevant!”

Colin Johnston BT Prospect union rep told Unionsafety:

“Derek’s skill and professionalism in his day job be it keeping the UK connected or keeping us all safe or making sure all health and safety procedures were followed kept everyone safe and well in Liverpool, Bolton, Manchester and beyond.

Whenever any issues came about you were first to help to resolve in a calm and reassuring way which will be missed by all.

As a fellow BT volunteer in the community you can be rest assured your skills are valued and much needed as a wise owl to callout where best practice says to correct a situation so that less accidents will happen.”

In terms of Derek’s experience, we only need to take a look at his ‘bio’ on the Co-ord’s Unionsafety website:

‘I was Chair of the Co-ord for several years until stepping aside recently but intend to continue with the work on behalf of my CWU Branch, Greater Mersey Amal, and the Coord for the near future at least.

I took up all the education and training the union and the TUC offered and will continue to do despite my age, life-long learning is not just a buzz phrase, but it is essential to an individual’s welfare as well as to what extent they are able to involve themselves in their workplace and their community.

I enjoyed being a Governor of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust for nine years but was required to leave that is the maximum term you can serve on such a body, being elected by the members for three years three times.

During that time, I saw the challenges and changes that came thick and fast to the NHS which had to be managed whilst looking after the brilliant staff. Moving on I am now a Trustee of Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group and learning more of the excellent support they give to victims and their families when they are in the lost difficult of times.

I have five grandchildren, though it seems like more when they are all together, who are all at school and in a few years, they will be in employment and I want the workplace health and safety conditions for them to better than when I started work but at the moment, without a change in government, that is not going to be the case.

There is a limit to how much workers can be pushed, times or targets squeezed, workers forced to cut corners before injuries and ill-health become endemic and we are back to pre-1974 Health and Safety at Work Act days. 

Trade unions must become more relevant again, not only in the workplace and not just between starting work in the morning to clocking off at night. Unions must be a societal movement that supports members twenty-four hours a day seven days a week: supporting their families and their roles in their communities.’

See also: CWU National Officer Pays Tribute To Derek Maylor Following His Announced Retirement

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