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Community Conference 2018 Blog Update – Southport 1st – 4th March

Paul Berrisford and myself (Julie Walker) attended the Community Conference in Southport where we attended workshops prior to the start of conference. The first workshop was on Violence and Aggression where we were informed that 70% of our members within the Housing Association Sector reported violence and aggression at work, this is higher than other sectors where their average is 50%.

Unison has developed a Violence at Work Charter using data collated from previoussurveys conducted with our members. They have also consulted Unison Health and Safety teams and branches to produce a 10 point plan, are contacting employers to request that they sign up to the charter and take on board its recommendations.

The Charter requires

  • The Employer has a written Violence and Aggression at Work Policy
  • Responsibility for Violence and Aggression at Work Policy lies with Senior Managers
  • Isolation of workers is to be reduced
  • Staff actively encouraged to report incidents
  • Data is collected and monitored
  • Union Safety Representatives are able to access this data and consulted
  • There are thorough Risk Assessments produced
  • Support pathways are provided for staff who are victims of violence
  • Training is provided to ensure staff are aware of the appropriate way in which to deal with threatening situations
  • Independent counselling provided for employees

The Charter has been advertised in the media and now 15 employers have signed up to it already. These employers include

  • Coverage Care
  • Aspire
  • Dimensions
  • Mencap
  • Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
  • Creative Support
  • Federation of Jewish Services (Heathlands)
  • Places for People Group
  • Apex Housing Association
  • Sandwell Community Caring Trust
  • WM Housing Group
  • Wakefield and District Housing
  • Incommunities
  • The Wrekin Housing Trust

All of these employers have been sent two letters requesting that they look at their policies and the Charter has been press released twice. Unison have arranged for a Parliamentary event to raise the profile of the Charter and to put more pressure on employers to sign up. This will take place in June 2018 and will include Unison Activists from Community with particular interest in this issue.

There were 16 motions discussed on Saturday afternoon and all were carried, an Emergency Motion was introduced by Greater London Region regarding London Housing Crisis. This emergency motion was fully debated, and the consensus was that although Greater London Region had brought this to conference it was in fact a motion that affected all regions. The motion was duly carried.

Communities and Place News Newsletter UNISON

Communities and Place Blog – Introducing Julie Warner

Hi all, I’m Julie Warner and I am the branch officer responsible for the Communities & Place directorate. You may or may not know but my substantive post is with Parking Services as a Civil Enforcement Officer – I’ll let you work that one out! 😉

As you may or may not be aware, this directorate covers a vast range of areas from Traffic to Libraries to Stores Road to Derby Live to Leisure to Planning to Environmental Services and lots lots more in between! As we all know, public services are being cut to the bone and lots of services are being outsourced or being streamlined.

One of these valuable services is the libraries, which has just undergone a huge consultation about the future of libraries in Derby. We are awaiting the outcome of the cabinet report to see in which direction this loved service will go. We have also seen the Eagle Centre market being transferred to the intu centre and staff have been TUPE’d across from DCC.

If anyone within this directorate is interested in becoming more involved with UNISON, either as a steward or a workplace contact then please get in touch with the office on 01332 643216. You can also email me on for more information. This will give you the chance to get involved in what’s happening in your area of work, get some training and help with personal development.