Police and justice delegates highlight disability issues

Conference discussed the importance of supporting and recruiting disabled staff and of supporting staff with mental health problems

The importance of supporting and recruiting disabled staff, and of supporting staff with mental health problems, was debated at police and justice conference last week.

Members highlighted the importance of making disabled people aware that UNISON can support them, and of representing them well once recruited.

Chelsea Skervin said that “the more disabled members we have, the more pressure we can put on employers and bargain for better conditions … we want to strive for a disability officer in every branch.”

Joanna Warcroft reminded delegates that conference was taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week and that “the continuing austerity cuts imposed by this government have caused our members so much suffering over the last eight years. It is as though police staff don’t exist.”

Two members gave moving speeches about dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and the lack of support received from managers.

Conference voted to take action to promote support for disabled members, to recruit more disabled members, and to take measures to promote better mental health amongst the police and justice workforce.