Despite CWU HQ insisting that there is no truth in the 'rumour' of the plan to get rid of the Health and Safety Dept which has only a budget of £19,000 for the year 2018/19 by merging it with another department and doing away also with the current regional health and safety forums; the rumours persist.
The support for this scenario comes from the Re-Design Branch Consultation document, and LTBS on the subject which makes no mention of Health & Safety within the CWU whatsoever! On the contrary, Young Workers, Equality, Education and Industrial Issue are mentioned - see Future Of CWU Health & Safety Dept And Regional Structures Set For Special Conference
Even more so, the deafening silence and apparent embargo on even mentioning Health & Safety in Re-Design documentation; simply begs a number of questions, not least why is the subject taboo and never mentioned in the same sentence or document as the word Re-Design?
So it is incumbent upon those proposing the merger of the Health & Safety dept with that of Legal and Medical, and the decision to slash an already small budget; to answer these six questions:
1. Who is going to lead on health and safety with our employers; do the H&S specific research, co-ordinate and promote Health & Safety campaigns, represent the CWU on the TUC's Health and Safety Committee, and interface with other Unions and organisations; after we have ditched the expertise and the dedicated department?
2. USRs and our members will want to know how merging the Health & Safety Dept and getting rid of regional health & safety structures will not damage the Union's ability to promote and lead on H&S issues, and to "Punch well above it's weight". Who will provide such information to them?
3. Will Branch's and national occupational officers keep up with current H&S legislation, and existing national health & Safety agreements with our employers and ensure it is part of local and national negotiations?
4. How will new and advanced health & safety agreements be negotiated with CWU member's employers?
6. Will Industrial Relations National and Branch Officers take up Health & Safety and provide the same level of resources and commitment to the issues, have the required expertise and understanding of H&S Legislation and CWU/Employer national agreements?
Or is the answer simply that the CWU can't afford as a Union to support and promote health and safety at work any longer?!
Source: unionsafety / cwu