CWU’s Jamie McGovern Wins TUC Safety Representative Award 2022

CWU’s Jamie McGovern Wins TUC Safety Representative Award 2022

Jamie McGovern (Greater Mersey Amal Branch) has won the 2022 TUC Safety Representatives award, to be presented at the TUC Congress 2022 which takes place in Brighton, 11 – 14 September.

The TUC annual Congress is a key event in the TUC’s calendar, attended by delegations from all Unions and where reports and motions are proposed and discussed which then form the policies and basis of the TUC’s work for the following year. Congress 2022 will attract an estimated 4000 visitors to Brighton during the week.

The TUC Judging panel recently announced the result of the TUC Safety Representative of the Year award for 2022, after considering entries from a number of the TUC’s 50 affiliated Unions who represent 6 million workers and in line with the practice for all TUC awards there is one overall winner.

In a letter to the Union, the TUC Health & Safety Officer Shelly Asquith informed us that there was a very high standard of entries this year – with Jamie’s entry finally impressing the judges as the one demonstrating the greatest achievement as a Safety Rep.

The TUC Safety Representatives annual Award is now in its nineteenth year and was introduced by the TUC General Council to demonstrate and acknowledge the range of work currently undertaken by Safety Representatives on behalf of their Union, its members and the community, recognising the contribution made by Safety Representatives in promoting health & safety in the workplace.

The TUC make the award to a trade unionist who represents the best aspects of being a Safety Representative and who in the view of the TUC has made an exceptional contribution in the role and has demonstrated commitment to working to improve workplace health and safety.

The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Committee has given the award scheme its full backing over the last decade and has a record second to none in the achievements and recognition of the work of the department and our field force of Safety Reps across the Union.

Jamie McGovern has been a CWU Area Safety Representative in Royal Mail for the members of this Union since 1995, for over 27 years. He’s done some great work as a CWU Area Health and Safety Rep.

Jamie was at the forefront of supporting members during the pandemic, carrying out workplace inspections and ensuring safety and infection controls were maintained, working with Covid compliance teams to keep workplaces Covid-Secure. His work was recognised by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside.

Jamie became a Mental Health First Aider and subsequently an Instructor. He has trained over 100 delegates, taking them through the 2-day MHFA training course. He has also been part of the group that set up the Mental Health networks in Merseyside and in the North West Region. Jamie recently won the national ‘Inside-Out’ award for his work on Mental Health and Stress.

Jamie is a member of the International Workers Memorial Day Organising Committee in Merseyside and a founder member of the Merseyside Dog Safety Partnership working with Police, Local Authorities, Animal Charities, Liverpool University and other organisations to deal with Dog Attacks and Dangerous Dog control in the area. Through his work on disability, over 200 Members have been assisted with reasonable adjustments in the workplace due to physical or mental health disabilities. On Road Safety Jamie Worked with the Wirral Road Safety Partnership, working with police, road safety experts and organisations to bring road and driver safety initiatives into the Workplace resulting in a 31% Road Traffic Accident reduction. As a result of this work, Jamie with his Deputy Mark Evans won the ‘Mind Your Business Road Safety Award’.  Jamie also became a leading campaigner in the “Tyred” Campaign created by the Frances Molloy mother of coach crash victim Michael Molloy and the campaign supported by CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department achieved a road law change banning tyres on coaches over 10 years old.

Jamie represents the best aspects of undertaking a CWU Health and Safety Rep’s role.

I am delighted that the dedication and commitment of CWU health and safety representatives has been recognised and applauded by the Trade Union Congresses across the UK. These awards recognise the important role that Safety Representatives can and do play in contributing to ensuring higher standards of health and safety in many workplaces.

Health and Safety Representatives are dedicated and committed trade union activists who strive to make workplaces safe for all workers. The opportunity to salute all CWU health and safety representatives through these awards is welcome and deserves to be celebrated. Workplace health and safety management requires a combination of strong commitment by management and active Trade Union Safety Reps input and engagement.

Safety Reps are the best and sometimes the only defence workers have, making sure that health and safety risks are managed properly by operational managers and employers. We know Union Safety Reps cut the rate of serious injury at work by more than 50 per cent, and over the years they’ve saved many lives and prevented many injuries by diligence, hard work and commitment. The fantastic work done by CWU Safety Reps in all of our branches up and down the country is helping to improve the lives of our members every year. The time, effort and work these people put in to help their colleagues often belies the time and resources they have available. I am delighted that the TUC, have recognised our CWU nominee as the best and I am sure the whole Union will join me in recognising the fine work of our Health and Safety Reps collectively and these achievements individually. Jamie is a deserved winner as were other previous CWU winners.

This of course is great news for the Union with Jamie adding to the growing list of Health and Safety Awards won by the CWU and its Health and Safety Reps over recent years. The CWU has now won the TUC award more than any other Trade Union and became the first Trade Union to win the full set of UK Trade Union Safety Representative of the Year Awards (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) in one year 2008/9. The growing list of awards won by CWU and its Safety Reps is due recognition of the Union’s work and achievements in the field of Health and Safety.

The Union has now won the TUC Safety Rep Award on 5 occasions, demonstrating the strength of the Safety Organisation within the CWU and the commitment of CWU Safety Reps. The CWU also became the first Trade Union to win prestigious National Awards presented and sponsored by the IOSH (Institute Of Occupational Safety & Heath), RoSPA (Royal Society For The Prevention of Accidents) and MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) England and the National ‘Inside-Out’ Mental Health Awards.

Jamie and our other award winners over the years are some of many excellent CWU examples of how important our people value health and safety in the workplace. The presence of union safety reps prevents thousands of major injuries at work every year and there’s an army of them out there doing a great job for our Union.

Opinion polls indicate that health and safety is considered one of the key areas people at work regard as a priority and an important topic for trade union action.

Unions campaign tirelessly for health and safety to remain a priority where members are employed. It is so easy to forget that the rights Safety Reps of today were won by years of struggle. We must not let this government take away rights from future generations so hard won by our predecessors. Health and Safety has come under fire in recent years, having been misrepresented in the press and media through a medley of mythical tales and by Tory government ministers who have no general support on this issue within the Safety Profession or amongst Safety Reps and Trade Unions that have to pick up the pieces after injuries, deaths and diseases at work. However what is universally recognised is that workplaces where Union Safety Reps are active and present are significantly safer than those without them.

HSE and TUC surveys show that Union Health and Safety Reps:

  • help reduce injuries at work
  • lead to reductions the levels of ill-health caused by work
  • encourage greater reporting of injuries and near-misses
  • make workers more confident
  • help develop a more positive safety culture in the organisation
  • save the employers and the economy many millions of pounds.

CWU Role of Honour – Major Health and Safety Awards

TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2005 – Barry Gapes of CWU London City West Branch

2007 – Pete Eggleston CWU Birmingham Branch

2008 – Chris Wesson CWU Birmingham Branch

2013 – Andy McArthur CWU Eastern No 6 Branch

2022 – Jamie McGovern CWU Greater Mersey Amal Branch

Scottish TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2009 – Graeme Russell CWU Edinburgh and Dundee Borders Branch

Irish TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2008 – Sean Doherty CWU Northern Ireland Combined Branch

2015 – Kevin Sweeney CWU Norther Ireland Telecoms Branch 

Wales TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2009 – Allan Morgan CWU South Wales Branch

South West Region TUC Safety Rep of the Year Award

2011 – Mark Tripconey CWU Somerset, Devon & Cornwall Branch 

Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) – Achiever of the Year Award

2010 – Dave Joyce, CWU National Health and Safety Officer

Institute of Occupational Safety & Heath (IOSH) – Health and Safety Project Award 

2009 – CWU

RoSPA – Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health Award

2009 – CWU

RoSPA – Individual Safety Award for exceptional contribution to Safety and Accident Prevention 

2016 – Dave Joyce, CWU National Health and Safety Officer

“Inside Out” – Workplace Mental Health Awards

2022 – Mental Health First Aid Winner – CWU

2022 – Behind the Scenes Champion Winner – Jamie McGovern CWU Greater Mersey Amal Branch

There can be no higher cause for trade unions than saving lives and preventing injury and ill health at work – no higher calling than doing so by becoming a safety Rep. The CWU will never rest on the issue of health and safety. Through our Safety Reps, like Jamie we will work to achieve happier, healthier workplaces with a lower risk of accidents, aiming to ensure that our members are able to leave work every day as healthy as when they arrived.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer


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