Dignity and Respect at Work

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2002 National Delegate Conference
26 February 2002
Carried as Amended

This Conference welcomes the establishment of core objectives and associated priorities and as a much needed development. It has enabled our lay structures at national and regional level in partnership with staff to focus upon those key issues determined by our sovereign bodies.

Conference also welcomes the initial work undertaken to apply both lay and staff budgets in a focused and measurable fashion towards achieving our goals.

The provision of quality public services delivered by directly employed public service staff will continue to underpin our modernisation agenda. Public support for our ethos and ministerial recognition of the value of public service workers can be built upon by promoting dignity, respect and equity at work for public sector employees.

Promoting these values will enable our campaigning objectives on a shorter working week, improved pay and work-life balance, tackling individual and institutional discrimination, achieving equality and improving our workplace as a safe environment to be seen as a right for our members and as part of our modernisation agenda.

Conference notes the use of the media to undermine dignity and respect, often portraying all public sector workers in a negative light, but at times targeting particular individuals, such as the homophobic hounding of Brian Paddick by papers such as the Daily Mail. Such press campaigns are used to smear public service workers, especially those associated with equality campaigns, trade union activities or those who are identified as minorities in the workforce.

Conference notes that Fairness at Work was one of the six key principles agreed by National Delegate Conference 2000 to form part of the Union’s Manifesto for Public Services Fit for the Twenty-First Century. Campaigning for dignity and respect for public service workers has since been a fundamental part of the Positively Public Campaign, aimed at ensuring that both quality and equality of employment practices are not undermined, as illustrated by a strategy of action:

a)Enabling the Union’s high profile rebuttal of the Prime Minister’s statements;

b)Providing continued lobbying through ministerial meetings;

c)Leading to agreement that should prevent developments of two-tiered working;

d)Enabling progress on agreements around PFI.

Conference believes that high quality services and good employment practices go hand in hand; and requests the National Executive Council to keep both dignity and respect at work at the forefront of the Positively Public campaign in 2002 and 2003.