Despite some opinion within the CWU that that Mental Health is an industrial relations issue, the Union's smallest resourced department has continued on its aim to ensure employers with CWU members working; meet their obligations in terms of the mental health and safety of their employees.
Proving that Mental Health is clearly a Health and Safety issue within the remit of Union Safety Reps as far as the employer too is concerned; this week Royal Mail and the CWU signed the Time to Change pledge, helping to end the stigma of mental ill health in the work place.
CWU National Health and Safety Officer, head of the 250,000 strong Union's Health, Safety and Environment Department said:
"The CWU supports the Time To Change Pledge and welcomes RMG's commitment to promote positive wellbeing and to challenge Mental Health stigma and discrimination backed by an action plan and the CWU wants:
* Terms of CWU Conference Motion 37 implemented,
* raising awareness,
* MH First Aid Training for CWU Health and Safety Reps and First Aiders,
* support and compassion for workers not persecution and victimisation,
* reasonable adjustments,
* Rehabilitation not medical severance,
* an effective Employee assistance programme (EAP) with Mental Health treated more like Physical Health."
Dave added that 1 in 4 of the UK population suffer mental health disorders and 70 per cent of those are in work (suffering common forms Stress Anxiety Depression)
RMG chief executive officer Moya Greene signed the pledge on behalf of Royal Mail for the second time, alongside CWU national health, safety and environment officer Dave Joyce, and director of Time to Change, Sue Baker.
"We wanted to re-sign the pledge to reaffirm, with our unions that we have to work on the stigma that is attached to mental illness.
People have problems in their lives - that’s inevitable - and work can be part of the solution. Employers need to make sure that their people know that mental health problems are no different to any other kind of problems.
People don’t leave their personal lives at the door when they come to work. They come to work as a whole person. Supporting our people is an important part of our overall programme here at Royal Mail."
To find out more about the Time to Change pledge, watch next week’s RMtv.