Eighteen organisations have now signed up to UNISON’s campaign to eradicate violence and aggression against staff in the voluntary sector after the union pledged to tackle the problem in the sector.
Launched in March 2017, the campaign was created after a survey of members in the Community service group had revealed that 48% of workers in the group had experienced a violent or aggressive incident at work in the preceding two years.
That figure has been confirmed by subsequent surveys.
Respondents to the survey reported such incidents as:
- “Verbal abuse and threat of being hit with a chair when my back was turned”;
- “Service user punched me in the face”;
- “Client threatened to slit my throat”;
- “A knife was pulled on me by a service user”;
- “I was punched two times and kicked two times”;
- “I was hit by a service user when pregnant and have been scratched, punched and kicked by service users numerous times”.
UNISON wants the campaign to help end violence at work by first establishing that violence is unacceptable and not ‘just part of the job’.
The most recent signatories to the campaign are Leeds-based Touchstone Support and Cymryd Rhan in Powys.
National officer Gavin Edwards said: “It’s great news that Cymryd Rhan and Touchstone have signed up to UNISON’s Violence at Work Charter. It sends a strong message to their own staff and to the wider community that they take this issue seriously.
“The charter sets a basic level of risk management and support for staff in the CVS sector, and is a key part of our campaign to stop violence being seen as ‘part of the job’.
“Charities and Housing Associations need to take proactive steps to protect their staff, and signing the Charter shows they are prepared to do this.”
All those who sign the campaign receive a certificate.
Read the UNISON Violence at Work Charter