Branch Secretary :

Why I became a health and safety rep

Members are stepping up


The stakes are high and housing workers have been turning to Unite to defend themselves at work in the current pandemic.  In the branch, and nationally, Unite membership has been increasing.


And members who had not seen themselves as activists are stepping up to play a bigger role. Union health and safety reps are playing a particularly crucial role and below one new rep puts out a call for still more reps.


Some employers have engaged with us positively, with others it requires pressure to get results.


Unite health and safety reps work together and are backed by access to information and training – we have put some resources here on our website and there is plenty more available to reps. As a health and safety rep you also have important rights in law.



Never say never




Hi fellow trade unionists, 



I thought oh my gosh I would never become a H&S rep that’s for pen pushers, well never say never. 



You only know when you are caught up in a crisis how important somebody else's role is. 



During this pandemic I could not believe how housing organisations and the country were dealing with this virus. 



Locally in my organisation I found we were being reactive instead of pro-active. 



All different types of information were coming our way as workers, for example the way we were working (key workers), what PPE we should have etc. 



I thought, hold on we knew about this virus since November 2019 and only came to light to the nation in January 2020 and its seriousness, why were we not preparing then? 



Putting a call out



We are where we are now; we only had one Unite H&S rep whom was doing a fantastic job to cover an organisation of around 1500 workers, I knew it was time to stand up and support my fellow colleague and ensure workers could be protected to the best of my ability. 



After our union meeting on Monday 6th April 2020; I’m pleased to announce we now have six H&S reps in place, this is what you call comradeship and ensuring we are there for our members asking those awkward questions which other workers dare not ask for fear of reprisals from management. 



We now seen a rise in deaths within the Bus sector, NHS and other essential services. 



I am putting a call out to all fellow trade unionist/members who, like me, thought H&S was not relevant role, to step up in their workplace and become a Health & Safety Rep “their fight is our fight”. 



Cheryl McLeod.



April 9th 2020




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