Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Sexual harassment isn’t just a problem for celebrities. It’s rife in ordinary workplaces everywhere. It affects us too.


Sexual harassment can have devastating effects, often leading to ill-health and work-related stress, affecting work performance and a survivor’s personal life. 

Half of women have been sexually harassed at work. Two thirds of LGBT+ people have experienced it too. And what’s really shocking is that 4 out of 5 people don’t feel able to report it to their employer.

So after months of campaigning, we welcome the government’s recent announcement that it finally plans to change the law and introduce a mandatory duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, including third-party harassment. 

It’s an important victory for UNISON and the whole coalition of unions, women’s rights bodies and business organisations working together in the #ThisIsNotWorking alliance. But most importantly, for UNISON members delivering public services, this represents a positive practical step towards stamping out harassment at work from clients, patients and contractors as well as from colleagues. 

The government has stated that it will introduce legislation “as soon as parliamentary time allows”. For workers who continue to suffer, and who currently feel that nothing will be done if they report harassment, it’s action, not words, that will make a difference. 

UNISON will keep a close eye on the government and press for it to introduce a properly enforceable law so that all employers make prevention a priority and are held severely to account when they let their workers down. We will be watching – and we stand ready to act if we don’t see the urgent change we need.

What to do if you are being sexually harassed at work

  •  Speak to a trusted friend or family member. 
  • Speak to your UNISON rep. 
  • Keep a record of what has happened to you (including time, date, location and any witnesses or evidence such as copies of letters, text messages, emails, etc, as well as details of any medical help sought). 
  • If you feel sufficiently safe, tell the harasser to stop. You could ask them in writing. Your UNISON rep should be able to support you. Keep a record of any steps you have taken to stop the sexual harassment and of any response from the harasser. 
  • Speak to your line manager or, if they are the harasser, to a more senior manager or to the HR department. 
  • If the problem is not resolved, make a formal complaint using your workplace grievance procedure or the reporting procedure within your workplace anti-harassment policy (if there is one). Your UNISON rep should be able to support you. 
  • If the issue is still not resolved, you may be able to take it to an employment tribunal. Your UNISON rep should be able to support you. You can also contact There for You on 020 7121 5620, email thereforyou@unison.co.uk or speak to your branch welfare officer.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

UNISON welcomes government pledge to end violence at work

 


UNISON has welcomed the Westminster government’s announcement that it plans to ratify Convention 190 from the International Labour Organization’s (ILO), which says that everyone has a right to work free from violence and harassment.

It is the first international treaty to recognise this, and specifically includes gender-based violence and harassment. The union is calling on the Conservative government to ensure words are rapidly turned into action.

Read the full story by clicking Here





Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Black LGBT+ Pride event, Saturday 30 October 2021, 6 to 7 pm, online via MS Teams



Black LGBT+ Pride event celebrating Black History Month, Saturday 30 October 2021, 6 to 7 pm, online via MS Teams, hosted by UNISON Oxford University & Colleges and UNISON Oxfordshire Health Branches.

Equality is at the heart of everything that UNISON does, and we are proud of our work to raise the voices of our Black, LGBT+ and Disabled members. Black History Month this year comes at a time where communities are trying to rebuild and recover from a global pandemic. The pandemic has highlighted inequalities across all equality groups, and has left many Black, LGBT+ and disabled members feeling isolated, having been forced to shield, dealing with the loss of loved ones, suffering genuine fear for their lives as frontline workers. 

Whilst COVID-19 has not gone away, we are gradually returning to more normal activities, and many people are really desperate for something to celebrate.

UNISON Oxford University & Colleges branch and UNISON Oxfordshire Health have come together to sponsor a Black LGBT+ Pride performance, which will take place online on Saturday 30 October, at 6pm.

Through MelanEyes: Say it Loud, Say it Proud

This provocative show features Black LGBT+ performers reclaiming the power of their bodies. Members can expect fun, politics and unapologetic ‘LGBTness’. 

Through MelanEyes are described as a collective of Chosen Family from across borders, coming together to build something better from the arts. 

Expect the unexpected, and bring an open mind! Some acts will be racy, some will be political, and some will explore why Black LGBT+ bodies are taboo in your more mainstream pride events. 

This event is strictly 18+ and is a space for Black members, LGBT+ members and their allies. There is much discussion around what is art and what is lewd, and how to respect everyone’s comfort. All acts will include a content warning and there will be a BSL interpreter and Audio description for all acts. There will also be a chance to chat to all the performers after the show and 5 lucky audience members will win prizes sourced from Black owned businesses!

So get excited! Registration is open now and UNISON members can bring up to 4 guests. This event is just as much a challenge as it is a celebration, and we hope you will enjoy a group that demonstrates what we can do if we all work together! Thank you for your interest in this event! 

The event is limited to UNISON members and up to four guests. In order to attend the event, we require a valid email address for each attendee. 

UNISON members must provide their membership number to register themselves and their guests (up to a maximum of four each) at the same time, and the UNISON member must provide a valid email address for each person being registered.

Please register using this Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/through-melaneyes-an-online-performance-for-black-history-month-tickets-180156191017 

All personal data will only be used for the event and follow up feedback survey. We will not share your data with any other parties. You can read UNISON’s privacy policy here https://www.unison.org.uk/privacy-policy/

Please have a look at the Through MelanEyes Facebook page and website.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MxRomeoDeLaCruz

Website: Through MelanEyes




Monday, 18 October 2021

Home & Hybrid Working - Ensuring an inclusive approach


The permanent switch to more home working following the pandemic will cause rising gender inequality in the workplace, according to experts, unless employers carefully monitor their new working policies to make sure women and disabled workers aren’t disadvantaged.

The switch to working from home necessitated by coronavirus lockdowns has, 18 months on, resulted in a permanent change in workplace culture.

Earlier in the pandemic, there were hopes that the wider adoption of remote working might remove the gender divide, while also reducing the so-called “maternity penalty” and getting rid of a culture of presenteeism.

Yet, many employment experts are warning that the hybrid working model favoured by most large organisations, allowing staff to split their time between home and their desks, could have unintended consequences for gender equality.

Leaving the choice of the workplace entirely in the hands of staff likely will mean those with caring responsibilities or with disabilities will tend to stay at home and other employees will likely go into the office. There is a fear that those at home will look like they’re less committed to their job, they won’t have as a good a relationship with their manager or feel part of a wider team or have the same opportunities.

UNISON would like to explore how this switch to hybrid working has affected you and hear of any concerns that you have about this.

To take part in the survey click HERE




Wednesday, 6 October 2021

World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day (Wednesday, October 13)

 


Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OMHP) and Oxfordshire Homeless Movement are joining forces to bring you a webinar to coincide with World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day.


Wednesday, October 13 @1–2pm - register now

Featuring guest speakers who are true experts by experience, this is a powerful opportunity to explore some of the toughest barriers to good mental health support, and how the partners plan to overcome them at a crucial time.

Oxfordshire’s homelessness problems epitomise the inequality in our county, and lack of access to affordable housing pushes too many people into crisis. At least 50 per cent of people experiencing homelessness are diagnosed with a mental health condition, underlining that these two issues are inextricably linked.

Be inspired and informed by the voices of the people we serve and have your say on what the future of Oxfordshire’s mental wellbeing looks like for you.

Register now for this motivational event commemorating this year’s World Mental Health Day theme: Mental Health in an Unequal World.




Friday, 24 September 2021

Council and school pay

 Please do Note 

Oxford City Council 

Pay is agreed locally 


Despite your courage and sacrifice throughout COVID-19, council and school workers have been offered 1.75%. With inflation at 3.8%, that’s a real terms pay cut. UNISON is launching a consultation and strongly recommends members vote to reject such an unfair offer.





 



Monday, 6 September 2021

 


Free lunchtime webinar for UNISON members on 28 Sept, hosted by our members' charity There for You and delivered by The Money Charity. It's all about financial wellbeing and it'll offer accessible info on things like your credit score, dealing with problem debt and staying on top of your finances.


Register now 👇 

https://www.unison.org.uk/events/financial-wellbeing-for-unison-members/





Sexual harassment isn’t just a problem for celebrities. It’s rife in ordinary workplaces everywhere. It affects us too.

Sexual harassment can have devastating effects, often leading to ill-health and work-related stress, affecting work performance and a surviv...