UNISON Action on Sickness and Stress

UNISON Action on Sickness and Stress

More and more of us face formal sickness processes at work, with the stress of knowing our jobs could be on the line through no fault of our own.

Southend UNISON stewards recently  took part in 2 days of training looking at how best to support  members when they are faced with a formal sickness absence process.

Sickness training delegates
Southend activists on the Sickness Process training course

In Southend branch we know these processes are becoming more and more common. We find cases also more often relate to stress and anxiety, often due to the volume of work and lack of management support or to  long-standing underlying health issues which employers are failing to address with ‘reasonable adjustments’ as set out in the Equalities Act.

UNISON nationally and as a branch has highlighted how the massive cuts in local government funding since 2008 were bound to store up trouble as staff workloads have doubled as the workforce has been axed.

It’s coming home to roost now with increased sickness figures relating  to stress are increasingly being reported.

Find out more about stress at work and what you can do to  protect yourself and make our workplaces safe – see UNISON’s advice here!

Find out more about ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support your disability/health issues on the Worksmart site  here

Contact your steward or the branch if you  have questions, ideas or need our help.

Unison working for a safer and more supportive workplace

Empowering women to take on menopause in the workplace

UNISON Southend with the support of UNISON  Eastern region organisers held a  successful menopause workshop last week, with around a dozen women from Southend Borough Council taking part.

They went to along to find out about and share experiences of the menopause as well as empower themselves to tackle the taboo subject inside and outside of work.

UNISON Southend Borough Council branch secretary Claire Wormald thanked local UNISON  organisers Caron Mullins and Dionne Eade for leading the workshop, saying she received “great feedback” from the participants.

“The workshop allowed women to look at how their workplace could be improved,” she said.

“We came up with a number of ideas to put to our employer, including looking at a policy on menopause.

“Menopause is a workplace issue and we are now armed with ideas for a safer and more supportive working environment – and a potential new health and safety representative!”

We  publicised the event with stalls and posters and even negotiated an hour off for participants at the end of the day so that the workshop could start at 4.30pm and run through until 7pm in members’ own time.

Claire added: “Organising and educating members through a workshop empowers not only those that attend but also, through acting on the outcomes, the wider union by agitating for better support”

Southend UNISON is looking at repeating this workshop in 2020 and looking at an  awareness raising session with men that are interested in finding out more on the impacts of the menopause.

Let us know if you are interested.


Union Learning Reps put on a successful training course in ‘Managing Challenging Behaviour’ with Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery.

Photograph of UNISON Southend-on-Sea members at a ‘Managing Challenging Behaviour’ training course.
UNISON Southend-on-Sea members at a ‘Managing Challenging Behaviour’ training course.

On Monday 19th February 2018, Union Learning Reps (ULRs) from UNISON Southend-on-Sea worked in partnership with Milton Hall Primary School and Nursery to deliver a successful training course in ‘Managing Challenging Behaviour’ for our members.

Becoming a ULR is a great way to organise, encourage and support other colleagues in your workplace through education and training. ULRs help their colleagues identify the skills they need, and sort out things like time off to train, loans, grants and funding, or any additional support they might need.

Contact the UNISON Southend-on-Sea branch and visit the following links to find out more: UNISON ULRs | UnionLearn with the TUC

Photograph of ULRs at UNISON National ULR Conference, UNISON Centre, 2016
ULRs at UNISON National ULR Conference, UNISON Centre, 2016

African Migrant Workers Seminar

UNISON African Migrant Workers Seminar

Saturday 14th October, 10:30am to 4pm, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Map of Africa

UNISON members are invited to this seminar aimed at encouraging migrant workers from Africa to become more involved in UNISON and our branches.

The full agenda will be out later in September but to give you a flavour of what will be on offer, a similar seminar in Scotland in March heard speakers on a number of issues including:

“The current situation in Swaziland, Zimbabwe. Reflections on the anti apartheid movement”, “Organising Migrant Workers” and more.

There is also the chance to meet other members and activists and discuss our ideas and issues.

Southend Branch will try and support any member who wishes to go to cover the cost of travel etc.

If you want to book a place email us at unison@southend.gov.uk

Educate Agitate Organise

Educate Agitiate Organise Training Logo

With the on-going attacks on Trade Unions and working people from this Government, UNISON Education, Training and Development is absolutely key to fighting these challenges. Never has it been more necessary for UNISON to continue to develop and deliver quality Activist education to enable our representatives to carry out their respective roles to the highest level, in order to combat issues and injustice in workplaces and in society as a whole.

Never has it been more important that you support your union and take advantage of UNISON’s  training courses.

We have a host of courses we can link you into and even put some on specially if there is a demand – from stewards training to women’s assertiveness to public speaking to equalities. We could even support the organising of a speaking Spanish course or English as a second language if there were enough of you!

Education has been the bedrock of the trade union movement – it was the trade union movement that taught reading and writing in communities that had not got access to schooling and raised their consciousness and self-belief. One of the first union banners had Educate Agitate and Organise as their slogan.

This branch along with UNISON as a whole wants to keep this tradition alive – check out our courses & if there is anything else you believe you could support us putting on or know there is a need there out in our membership let us know

Educate Agitate & Organise!

Please visit the Eastern Region website for further training events and contact us if you see anything that sparks your interest.