Four Pillars Bulletin No38: Unit Rep Briefings


2018 National Young Workers’ Education Event, ‪12 – 14 October‬, Peterborough

2018 National Young Workers’ Education Event, 12 – 14 October, Peterborough

This is to inform branches that this year’s National Young Workers’ Education Event has been confirmed to take place over the weekend of Friday, 12 October through to Sunday, 14 October and will take place at The Bull Hotel, Westgate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 1RB.

The event brings together young (under the age of 30) activists over the course of a weekend in which they gain knowledge, skills and confidence about their role in the union and the union’s work in general.

The event will start at 6pm on Friday 12 October and will end at lunchtime on Sunday 14 October. A timetable will be issued nearer the time.

The cost to send a delegate will be £270. This cost, will include two nights’ accommodation and all meals. This figure, of course, excludes travelling and for further information relating to expenses please find attached LTB 787/15.

It should be noted that late cancellations will have to be covered by the branch – so if a delegate is not able to attend and has to cancel we would appreciate at least 1 weeks’ notice. Exceptional circumstances will be considered on an individual basis.

This is an important event and Branches are encouraged to consider sending delegates.

Please find attached an application form that participants should complete and get signed off by the branch; this should then be sent to Jo Thair at CWU Head Office either by post or by email to

Branches are thanked in anticipation of their assistance and any queries on this LTB should be directed to

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary

LTB 114-18 – 2018 National Young Workers’ Education Event, 12 – 14 October, Peterborough

NYWEE18 Application Form

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Processing Report February 2018

Processing Report February 2018

National Issues

You will be aware the National CWU and Royal Mail have reached an agreement to present to the membership after our Four Pillars Campaign. The 39-page Agreement is on display on the union board. A National Briefing was held in London on the 7th February. Where the National Officers who negotiated the agreement presented it to CWU Area Representatives and Branch Officials. A full Branch report of this meeting is on the union board. There is also a report of the meeting on the delivery union board. A CWU Divisional Briefing was held in Royston on 21st February. where the National Officers who negotiated the agreement presented it to all CWU shift and unit reps in the division.

The Branch will be addressing staff at the Work Time Listening and Learning (WTLL) sessions in processing during the week commencing 26th February and the WTLL sessions in the delivery offices during the week commencing 5th March about the agreement and a recommendation on how to vote in the ballot which opens on Monday 12th March and closes on Wednesday 28th March.

Work Time listening and Learning Sessions (WTLL)

It has been agreed the processing WTLL sessions for week commencing 26th February will be used to allow the CWU to present the National Agreement to staff. Night shift will be on Monday at 22.30 and 23.30. Late shift will be 15.30 and 18.00 on both Wednesday and Thursday. Early shift and DSA staff will be Friday 09.30. The Weekend shift will be Saturday at 1400. PE Deliveries will be at 0700 and 0730 Friday.

Traffic Transformation

The business will be changing the way they record traffic coming into the mail centre. Currently we are using the mist system where traffic is recorded at WLA points throughout the building. They are changing to a PDA manual recording at the primary sort point only. However, both systems will run together for about a year whilst data is collated before changing to the PDA system.

There are 107 members of staff across all four shifts going to be trained on the manual recording with the PDA’s. Training is due to start in a couple of weeks’ time after it has been agreed at national level to go ahead now the trials have been completed in the four trial mail centres.

Processing Week Start Change

We have been in discussion with management about the advantages of changing the start day of the processing week. Therefore, from the start of the new financial year the processing function week with change from what it is currently a Sunday to Saturday to a Monday to Sunday

The reason for this is the processing function needs to fall in line with the PSP system which is Monday to Sunday, all the other functions within the MC and the other mail centres in the region are all on Monday to Sunday weeks.

Staff who hold processing scheduled attendances on a Sunday will be written to by the book room to explain how the change will affect them. SA length and start and finish times will not be affected only the week numbers.

Staff who have booked annual leave based on a Sunday to Saturday week will have their leave and SA’s honoured for the year.

Gravity Rollers

We have started a new trial on the gravity rollers. This is for the processing of standard packets. CWU Nationally are now aware of the trial. CWU Health and Safety Reps are aware and monitoring along with shift reps who are giving us members feedback. Royal Mail Industrial engineers will also be observing.  

Spalding CSS work

Two duties were advertised and have been allocated.

WhatsApp Broadcast Group

We have set up a CWU Eastern No5 members WhatsApp Broadcast Group where we can forward CWU Communications onto members.

A Broadcast Group is where members receive WhatsApp messages from my phone, you will not be able to see who is in the group, you will not be able to message each other either. No phone numbers are shared.

If you want to be in this group then you will need the WhatsApp App on your phone.

Save my number Ernie Orviss 07887985430 Then send me a message me with your name requesting to be put in the group. I will forward you some of the previous messages and put you in the group so you will receive all future messages.

EJ Orviss

Area Processing Representative

Date 23rd February 2018

Dog Attacks on Postal Workers are Appalling, Cardiff Conference Told. – Report on Event Held at Wales Government Offices

Dog Attacks on Postal Workers are Appalling, Cardiff Conference Told. – Report on Event Held at Wales Government Offices

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Calls for the use of dog licenses have been renewed by the CWU with attacks on postal staff reaching “epidemic proportions”.

Opening the Conference Welsh Assembly Member Julie Morgan said postal staff were “most vulnerable” to such attacks with children also “badly affected”.

Royal Mail reported 843 attacks on staff in Wales in the last five years. BT have reported attacks on field engineers also.

Cardiff councillors, Welsh Assembly Members and Ministers, CWU Union Representatives and parents of injured children gathered in Cardiff’s Pierhead Hall, near the Wales Parliament to debate the ongoing problem of dog attacks and what can be done by the Wales Government to help reduces attacks.

The CWU suggested that the re-introduction of dog licenses may help encourage more responsible ownership but would generate funding for Policing and enforcement at a time when central government funding for the Police was being cut back.

CWU National Health and Safety Officer Dave Joyce said “There were now 22,000 less Police officers in the UK than there were ten years ago and the concern is that dog control was slipping down the priority agenda.”

Stuart Hughes, who was a postman in Gwynedd, almost lost an earlobe in 2010 after an Alsatian bit his ear, jaw and throat while he was working.

“I had to see a facial injuries specialist and they managed to stitch up my ear and throat with about 20 stitches,” he said.

“I’m back on normal duties now, but there are still scars, some tendons were damaged and I get ongoing problems with my neck. Dog attacks are no joke.”

Cardiff councillor Dilwar Ali, whose six-year-old son was mauled by a neighbour’s Rhodesian Ridgeback dog in 2011 after it escaped from the next door’s garden, said “There is currently a

“loophole” in tracking dog owners through microchip databases because owners who sell dogs on do not always update the database. ”

He added “There were a lot of grey areas as dog owners should automatically be banned from owning a dog for 10 years after a serious offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act, but this was sometimes not happening”.

Ms. Morgan has campaigned alongside Mr. Ali and the CWU for ‘Dog Control Notices’ that would allow early intervention by local authorities or Police if they had concerns about a particular dog owner, such as enforcing owner and dog training or compulsory muzzles in public. ”

Ms. Morgan said “dog owners needed much greater education and to be forward thinking about the responsibility of owning a dog”.

The pair are supporting the Communication Workers Union’s Biteback campaign which brought about strengthening the UK’s Dangerous Dog Act, extending the law to private property, tougher penalties and introducing mandatory micro-chipping of dogs to identify and control dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners.”

CWU health and safety officer Dave Joyce said “Though the Dangerous Dogs Act was extended to cover dogs on private property in 2014, more rigorous enforcement of the law was needed. The Police need to use their extended powers and the Courts need to use the full extent of the sentences available to them.”

“It’s a problem that still seems to keep going under the radar yet it has reached epidemic proportions he added. Our postal worker members are in the frontline and first to be confronted with irresponsible owners and dangerous dogs because postmen and women visit the nation’s 29 million addresses with the mail and parcels daily”.

“There are still cases where offences are committed but the Police are not prosecuting owners when they should be. There have been 15 private prosecutions that Royal Mail has had to pursue, all ending in successful convictions in recent times. Cases the Police should have prosecuted.”

Mr. Joyce added “The Royal Mail and CWU were currently pursuing two private prosecutions for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act that Police in Wales had not prosecuted.”

He has asked the Welsh Government to consider more investment for dog legislation officers trained to deal with dog cases and the introduction of dog licenses similar to those in Northern Ireland to generate resources for enforcement and for the introduction of Dog Control Notices (DCNs).

Welsh Government Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “I have held meetings with the CWU and others to consider concerns. Our recent public consultation on a revised code of practice for the welfare of dogs reminds owners of their obligations relating to controlling their pets and the Governing legislation. The consultation closed earlier this week and we will look at the responses in detail shortly”.

“We are also investigating the feasibility of establishing an animal offender register and looking at reintroducing dog licensing. Both are complex proposals but worth investigating.”

“Embedding a culture of responsible ownership cannot be achieved in isolation. We will continue to work across government and with a range of organisations to achieve lasting improvements but owners must take the lead responsibility by ensuring their dogs’ needs are met.”

Report Ends

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB112 Dog Attacks on Postal Workers are Appalling, Cardiff Conference Told. – Report on Event Held at Wales Government Offices

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Tata Steel Fined £1.4m after Health and Safety Failings Lead to Death of Worker

Tata Steel Fined £1.4m after Health and Safety Failings Lead to Death of Worker

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Hull Crown Court heard how, on 23 April 2010, Thomas Standerline, 26, an employee of Tata Steel, was examining a crane as part of his inspection duties as a maintenance electrician. Whilst carrying out this work, an overhead crane travelled over the cage he was in, trapping and then crushing him. Mr Standerline died instantly.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Tata Steel had failed to enforce its own safety procedures, despite having two previous incidents before Mr Standerline’s death. The HSE investigation also found Tata Steel failed to put in place essential control measures which would have prevented the overhead crane that killed Mr Standerline from even being in operation.

Tata Steel UK Limited of Millbank, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1.4 million with costs.

On the day of the accident Standerline was inspecting the semi-goliath’s collector shoes, which ran along a live busbar to power it. The power for both the cranes was supplied this way and, though the electricity feed to the semi-goliath had been isolated, it had not been shut off for the overhead crane.

Standerline walked through a broken gate that should have been locked and climbed up a stepladder into the collector inspection cage, which was not fully enclosed and had only a waist-high railing. At the same time the Harsco employee began to move the overhead crane, which had not been fitted with flashing warning lights or stop-blocks. Its collector cage travelled over that of the semi-goliath, where Standerline was standing, and crushed him. Had the overhead crane been isolated, this would not have happened.

He HSE said that there had been two previous incidents in September 2008 and in February 2010 that shared features with the one that cost Standerline his life but the lessons from these accidents weren’t properly learned and they should have acted as a warning that this could have happened.

Sentencing, His Honour Judge Richardson said: “A range of failings of the defendant were found in respect of the maintenance and safety procedures after the first incident and there appears to have been an absence of awareness of safety procedures in respect of the second

incident. These two incidents serve to illustrate that there was a potential problem in the slab yard in terms of safety by reference to (a) the need for isolation of power supply to the cranes when maintenance work was being undertaken so that the cranes could not move and thereby preventing crushing between the two and (b) ensuring everyone was familiar with safety procedures.” He added that “Tata Steel has a far from exemplary health and safety record. It conducts many operations which are hazardous, but the volume of convictions of the defendant company reveals to me a situation of concern in relation to health and safety.”

Tata Steel had previously been fined £1.9m in July 2016 after two workers were seriously injured in separate incidents at its Northamptonshire plant. This was later reduced to £1.5m. Last August Tata Steel was fined £930,000 after five plant workers were exposed to toxic and flammable vapour.

Tata took steps to remedy shortcomings at the slab yard after Thomas Standerline was killed. A roof was added to the semi-goliath collector cage, and both cages were redesigned so there was clearance when they passed each other. Tata provided refresher training for its maintenance staff, and communication between both companies’ employees was improved.

This is an example of the new Fine Levels under the revised Sentencing Council Guidelines being applied to a major company that fails to implement, communicate and enforce its own safety procedures and had no fail safe design arrangements in place at the time.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB110 Tata Steel Fined £1.4m after Health and Safety Failings Lead to Death of Worker

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Safe & Well – February 2018

Safe & Well – February 2018

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

Please see attached the February edition of Safe and Well newsletter with contributions from our USRs and field teams. This is a proper bumper edition: leading the way is the pole collapse/rugby poles feature – including the action for people to take, a focus on what the commentary around AMS checks on safe climbing tells us and updates on a new check for pole testers as well.

Shifting from poles; there’s the pre-habilitation service new flyer to help people understand how this can help, more about stools, a watch out for worn out things and a couple of “did you think about” pieces. And not forgetting guarding for hoists, engine idling, a good “Near Miss” and a reminder of a very close Near Miss on the motorway.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB111 Safe & Well – February 2018

Safe and Well Issue 55 February 2018

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The CWU will be hosting the inaugural CWU National Awards Evening 2018 on Monday 23rd April at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth. The evening will commence 19:00 and include a three course meal and a series of presentations hosted by a high profile guest. Each Region has been allocated a table and places can by booked through your Regional Secretaries.

This will be a celebration and recognition of the work done by our representatives across the UK in the last twelve months. The event will also encompass the National Honorary membership Awards.

The Award categories will be:-

• Recruiter of the year

• Communicator of the year

• Young Representative of the year

• Representative of the year

In each category three nominations will be shortlisted with the winners being announced on the evening. All nominations will be considered by an independent panel.

We now invite nominations from individuals, Branches, Regions and Divisions or anybody outside of CWU HQ. All applications must be submitted in writing to Janina Dunn by no later than 12 noon on Friday 16th March 2018. All applications should include a 100 word supporting statements. Individuals cannot nominate themselves and no National CWU Officials or staff will be eligible for entry.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary


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Business In The Community (BITC) – Mental Health At Work Survey Report 2017

Business In The Community (BITC) – Mental Health At Work Survey Report 2017:

To: All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

BITC have published their second National Employee Mental Wellbeing Survey.

It reveals that although there has been progress against the BITC’s three calls to action and recommendations in their 2016 report, too many men and women with mental health issues are suffering in silence at work, unable to seek help from colleagues or managers. Fears of prejudice and exclusion are limiting employees’ ability to achieve their full potential, in the workplace or at home.

60% of employees have experienced a mental health problem due to work or where work was a contributing factor at some point in their career, compared to 62% in 2016.

Three out every five employees (60%) have experienced mental health issues in the past year because of work, according to their survey. Almost a third (31%) of the workforce has been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue (29% in 2016). The most common diagnosis was depression or general anxiety. While more people are comfortable talking about mental health at work than in 2016, just 13% felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their line manager. Those who do open up put themselves at risk of serious repercussions. Of those employees who disclosed a mental health issue, 15% were subject to disciplinary procedures, demotion or dismissal (9% in 2016).

91% of managers agree that what they do as a manager affects the wellbeing of their staff. This is a potent example of why a pervasive culture of silence remains entrenched in the workplace. Mental health is still one of the most difficult subjects to talk about at work (out of nine equality and social issues asked about in the survey). Just over half of all employees (53%) feel comfortable talking about mental health issues like depression and anxiety at work, although this is an uplift from 50% in 2016.

The BITC’s 2017 findings show that particular groups, among them young people, men, and black and minority ethnic employees, are more at risk in some areas. Younger employees are more likely to have mental health issues, with 37% of those aged 18 to 29 having been formally diagnosed with a mental health condition, compared to 29% of employees in their 50s. This may be because of growing awareness about mental health among the age group, but they are also less likely to disclose concerns. Less than half (44%) feel comfortable talking about mental health at work compared to 57% of those in their 40s and 50s.

Only a third of 18 to 29 year olds are comfortable talking with their manager about mental health issues compared to almost half of people in their 40s.

Headline statistics from the 2017 survey

• A majority of employees are affected by the symptoms of poor mental health.

• More employees feel comfortable talking about mental health.

• A disconnect persists between the vision for workplace mental health and the reality.

• The threat of disciplinary action when experiencing mental ill health is very real.

• 24% of managers have received training in mental health.

• 49% of managers would welcome some specific basic training in mental health.

• 53% of employees feel comfortable talking about mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

• 60% of employees have experienced mental health issues due to work or where work was a related factor.

• 6% of employees have been living with a formally diagnosed condition for over 10 years.

• 31% of employees have been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue.

• 76% of those who have experienced a mental health issue as a result of work feel that colleagues care about their wellbeing.

• 11% disclosed it specifically to a line manager.

• 84% of managers accept that employee wellbeing is their responsibility.

• 91% of managers agree that what they do affects the wellbeing of their staff.

• 58% of employees feel that their line manager is genuinely concerned about their wellbeing.

• 15% of cases where the employee disclosed a mental health issue to a line manager the employee became subject to disciplinary procedures, dismissal or demotion.

Time To Stop Talking And Take Action

The BITC Report states very strongly that the time has come to stop talking about the importance of good mental health at work and to start taking action. Good practice exists in some organisations, but for the vast majority of employees, mental health is still a no-go area, a subject that cannot be discussed with colleagues or managers for fear of discrimination and victimisation.

1 Talk 2 Train 3 Take Action

The Report advises employers to 1 Talk, 2 Train, 3 Take Action, to break the culture of silence that surrounds mental health by signing the ‘Time to Change Employer’s Pledge’ and investing in basic mental health literacy for all employees and first aid training in mental health to support line manager capability. It also recommends implementing practical actions from the BITC Mental Health Toolkit for Employers.

Calls to action for employers Recommendations – Take ownership of mental health in your workplace:

• Sign the Time to Change Employer’s Pledge.

• Embed wellbeing at the heart of your organisational culture.

• Use the Business in the Community and Public Health England Mental Health Toolkit for Employers.

• Send a clear message that mental health and physical health have the same priority.

• Adopt a zero-tolerance approach to stigma.

• Appoint a mental health champion to your senior team, to drive better mental health and encourage all leaders to act as role models.

• Ensure that leadership and management teams are attending mental health training to develop awareness.

• Ensure there is a first aid trainer for mental health within the organisation.

• Ensure all employees know where to go for guidance and support.

• Support employees to have the confidence to start a conversation about mental health.

• Share Business in the Community’s ‘Listen Up: Let’s Talk Mental Health’ with all employees.

• Challenge yourself to reconsider the mental health support on offer in your workplace.

• Be clear that you are committed to making very real improvements whatever the starting point.

• Seek employee feedback with a range of informal and formal mechanisms to understand where your gaps exist.

• Identify and remove organisational barriers preventing line managers from effectively managing and supporting colleagues with mental health issues.

• Identify risks to employee mental wellbeing in your workplace. Take action to change culture, policy, and organisational design.

Empower line managers

The report recommends empowering line managers with recommendations;

• Give managers the support they need to manage their own wellbeing, with appropriate resources and training. Help them free up time in their day to manage employee mental health.

• Regularly promote to line managers the support at their disposal to foster good mental health. Improve the confidence and capability of managers to have conversations about mental health.

• Train as many line managers as possible in their duty of care in relation to mental health, enable their mental health literacy, equip them to notice changes in their team members and support their continuous skill development to lead conversations about mental health.

• Introduce training about performance and mental health, emphasising the importance of making appropriate, reasonable adjustments.

• Empower managers to develop skill sets within their teams, to ensure there is first aid provision for mental health.

• Encourage line managers to seek support when managing a colleague with mental health issues, from HR, Occupational Health, an EAP or their own line manager.

• Be clear about what reasonable adjustments can be made in the workplace to support an employee with mental health issues. Discussions about performance must take into account any mental health issues, just as they would take into account physical health issues.

• Introduce the concept of ‘everyday wellbeing’ as a core part of all one-to-one and/or personal development conversations. This will help to normalise conversations around mental wellbeing between staff.

• Use Business in the Community’s Leading on Mental Wellbeing: transforming the role of line managers’ report to embed wellbeing across the organisation.

Confront the culture of silence

• Instill an understanding that everyone has a state of mental health, just as they do physical health. Use awareness campaigns to communicate this message, such as Time to Talk Day, Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day.

• Normalise the conversation around mental health. Appoint volunteer wellbeing champions, who can lead by example, raise awareness and share information to promote positive messaging about mental health.

• Work with change-makers, including key leaders, HR and other specialists, and wellbeing champions. Give them the knowledge and confidence to promote an open climate where conversations about mental health are accepted as normal.

Always respond to employees with appropriate and effective support

• Prevention is better than cure. Create a work environment that promotes mental wellbeing. Business in the Community’s Workwell Model, the HSE Management Standards and the NICE Workplace Health Management Standards will guide you.

• Give employees a clear and positive wellbeing offering, starting at induction, and reinforced on a regular basis, including resources to support employee resilience and mental wellbeing.

• Ask employees to help create and adapt solutions to their mental health support needs, including reasonable adjustments and Wellness Action Plans.

• Ensure every employee has access to (and knows where to find) appropriate support to stay well and to help manage mental ill health. Issue regular reminders.

• HR and any additional specialist support functions must proactively engage with employees, so that they feel they have a safe space to discuss mental health.

• Employers should follow best practice in handling any issues concerning performance, including taking account of any short or long-term mental health issues that may impact on performance.

Support people to stay at work or return to work

• Be ready to take steps to enable people to remain in work when possible, and take a phased approach to return to work after a period of ill health.

• Be aware of comorbidity of mental and physical health issues, and take a whole systems approach which supports reasonable adjustments for physical and mental wellbeing.

• Know your legal obligations to consider reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act (2010).

• Always seek the full agreement of an employee for any reasonable adjustment.

Adjustments might include:

1 Alterations to premises

2 Revised working hours

3 Transfer to a different position (temporary or permanent)

4 Allocating some duties to another person to lighten the workload

5 Allowing absence for treatment or rehabilitation

6 Opportunity to work from home

7 Extra training

Reinforce mental health support for groups who feel excluded

• Our survey shows that young people and BAME employees are at a particular disadvantage at work. Employers should address barriers that exist in their own organisations.

• Be explicit about the responsibility of line managers towards younger employees and BAME employees.

• Ensure all line managers are able to respond effectively, regardless of gender.

• Use induction courses to emphasise the importance of mental health and wellbeing with the organisation, and to signpost ways in which support is provided.

• Embed mental health and wellbeing into apprenticeship schemes, and give apprentices opportunities to contribute to policies around health and wellbeing.

References to resources: Specific recommendations for small- and medium-sized organisations

• Encourage employees to get enough rest. Make sure they go home at a reasonable time and take holidays. Don’t expect them to take work emails at all hours.

• Mistakes happen, especially when employees are new or inexperienced. Give honest and objective feedback, and help employees learn from their mistakes.

• Build a culture that recognises, appreciates and rewards achievements.

• Build a good support system, including workplaces where knowledge and good working practices can be shared. Mentor new and recent employees, and agree workloads, priorities and deadlines. Give constructive feedback and share problems.

• Encourage healthy eating and regular physical activity. Provide fresh fruit and fresh water, to discourage consumption of unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks.

• Organise regular out-of-work activities in which the whole team can take part. Encourage volunteering and consider supporting a local charity.

• Create a pleasant work environment, with plenty of natural light and good ventilation where possible. Create pathways so employees can leave their workstations and walk around, and common/shared spaces.

• Help employees understand and accept that there are some things they just cannot change. Acceptance is key. A good deal of anxiety arises from trying to change things beyond our control. Recognising that is essential to good mental health.

• Encourage employees to identify areas they find difficult and take responsibility for coming up with a plan to tackle these areas. Help them to implement their plan.


See attached copy of the BITC Mental Health At Work Report 2017 (Executive Summary)

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

18LTB108 Business In The Community (BITC) – Mental Health At Work Survey Report 2017

BITC Mental Health At Work Report 2017 (Executive Summary)

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Peterborough TUC Press Release : Peterborough Women’s Festival 2018


Peterborough Women’s Festival 2018

Peterborough Trades Union Council have organised the third annual Peterborough Women’s Festival to coincide with the week of International Women’s Day.

On International Women’s day 8 March, METAL are screening films from Cine-Sister, a series of short films made by female-identifying film-makers on a leadership role. Check out the Idea1 website for more information regarding the programme and timing.

The official Festival will start with the play “We are the Lions Mr. Manager,” at Broadway Theatre on 9 March. The play centres on Jayaben Desai, who led a group of mainly South Asian workers, out on strike from the Grunwick film processing factory in a dispute which lasted from 1976 to 1978. Theatre Company, Townsend Productions, demonstrate that by standing up for workers’ rights, Jayaben has proved to be an inspiration in the fight for dignity and human rights and her legacy continues to this day. Many Peterborough trade unionists supported the strike and stood the picket lines in solidarity. Tickets are £8.00 + booking fee and can be purchased directly from Broadway Theatre.

The festival continues on 10 March, with the Town Hall Event. Over 40 campaigns and craft stalls will be packed into Peterborough Town Hall, with jewellery workshops and interactive art projects to get involved in. Sponsored by Trinity College, London, CWU Eastern 5 Branch and UNISON City Branch, there will be speakers in the meeting rooms including Peterborough born Julie Mayhew, novelist and playwright; Clara Paillard, President of PCS Union Culture Section and Show Culture Some Love; find out about the Freemans 5 and their fight for equality with speakers from Eastern Angles Theatre. We will also have a speaker from the Police Spies out of Lives campaign and Kath Sansom, award winning journalist and part of the Sling the Mesh Campaign will also be joining us. MP Fiona Onyasanya will also be putting in an appearance. There will be lots of surprises too. This event is free to attend.

In the evening of 10 March, there will be a Women’s Festival social at the ostrich Inn, featuring music from local performers Gin and Yonic and from London’s Loud Women set, Gaptooth. The Ostrich Inn will also be bringing in the beer whose brewers are women. This event is free, but donations on the night, would be appreciated.

Please note that this is not just a festival for women, men are welcome to attend all events. However, the festival is organised to celebrate the skills and talent of Peterborough’s women and to create a safe space for networking within this community. For more information, check the Peterborough Women’s Festival 2018 page on Facebook or email