Councillors put forward motion to adopt End Violence at Work charter
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
A dozen councillors are set to bring forward a motion to a Blaenau Gwent council meeting asking the authority to adopt a charter to stop violence and abuse at work.
The motion is a based on a call from union Unison that local authorities should sign up to their “End Violence at Work” charter.
The charter sets out 10 standards that employers should meet in order to keep their staff safe.
The motion says that the council believes that:
“Staff should come to work feeling safe, and not in fear of being abused, threatened or harmed.
“Staff should feel supported by their employer.
“Without the dedication and professionalism of our staff, the council services our residents rely on would not be deliverable.”
The second part of the motion is that the council resolves to
“Reaffirm its commitment to social partnership and to consult and work collaboratively with trades unions.
“Adopt Unison’s (End) Violence at Work Charter.
“Encourage all schools to adopt the charter.
“Encourage, Aneurin Leisure Trust to adopt the charter.”
Councillors Helen Cunningham, Lisa Winnett, Jacqueline Thomas, Tommy Smith, Derrick Bevan, John C Morgan, Haydn Trollope, Sonia Behr, Sue Edmunds, Keith Chaplin, Chris Smith and Ellen Jones have signed the motion.
The councillors said: “Violence and aggression at work in the local government sector is a serious problem.
“It is consistently raised by UNISON members as one of their greatest concerns at work.”
“Surveys show almost half the members in the sector have experienced an incident of violence or aggression at work in the previous two years.
“Upsettingly, school support staff believe they are more than ever exposed to violence and aggression in their workplace.
“Incidents include staff being punched, bitten, pushed and kicked while carrying out their jobs.
“Concerningly, lower-level violence and verbal abuse is seen by some staff as a routine part of their working lives.”
“Employers already have a legal duty to protect their staff. Unison’s Violence at Work Charter aims to raise awareness and encourage best practice in tackling violence at work.
“It should not be seen as either a routine or normal part of the job.”
Over 50 employers have already signed up to the charter including Tai Calon Community Housing.
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