Activists feel stress of increasing workloads

UNISON to explore ways of supporting activists and reps in stressful situations

UNISON is to explore ways of supporting activists in stressful situations, after delegates debated the subject today.

Sara Feeney of Coventry City branch declared that “activists are the backbone of UNISON” and members rely on them at difficult times in their life.

“But that comes at a great cost personally. The common theme is that the workload now is much greater than it was four or five years ago.”

Ms Feeney noted that the union must also “look after its own.”

Hilary Mellor from Staffordshire told delegates that “in the toughest times, we must band together.”

Many activists feel stressed because they “don’t feel they have control over their situation,” said another delegate.

Janet Maiden of University College Hospital branch in London said that there could not be anyone in the room who would not be affected by stress.

The executive was instructed to:

  • investigate the possibility of a telephone support service for activists;
  • develop and deliver a programme of resilience training that can be delivered in the regions;
  • produce a handbook for activists on how to deal with stressful situations and how they can support branch colleagues.