UNISON will highlight and reward an often under-appreciated area of trade union work this evening with its first ever health and safety rep of the year awards.
Union members were asked to nominate their rep of the year in two categories last autumn:
- outstanding health and safety campaign;
- outstanding contribution to health and safety.
Some 20 shortlisted reps are attending the awards ceremony at UNISON Centre in London. Each regional winner will receive a certificate of excellence from general secretary Dave Prentis and UNISON president Wendy Nichols.
The overall winner in each category will also receive a paid-for break at UNISON’s own north Devon holiday centre at Croyde Bay.
Looking forward to the evening, Mr Prentis welcomed “a chance to highlight the great work our safety reps are doing to keep members, colleagues and workplaces safe – particularly at a time of continued attacks on the work of our unions.
“The work of our dedicated safety reps is just one reminder of why next week’s ♡ unions week of action on the Trade Union Bill is so important.”
Pam Sian, the new chair of the national health and safety committee, said an award for the union’s health and safety reps was long overdue, given the importance of their work.
“It was a revealing experience going through the nominations. Sometimes I was thinking: ‘Why didn’t I know about this work that people are doing out there?’
“In one case the rep’s safety work literally saved lives. If they hadn’t acted, the consequences were terrible.
“Another not only saved a member from unfair dismissal, but won them a pay-out and improved the work stations for everyone in the team.
“I wish all could be winners.”