UNISON branch taking stress at work seriously

Increased workloads, a hostile working environment and an inability for staff to make meaningful contributions are all major stress factors at London Met; these were the main findings of the UNISON stress questionnaire, carried out at the end of last year.

The results of the survey were clear: we are experiencing considerable stress and anxiety associated with work and this is having a detrimental impact on our health. Over 66% of respondents reported frequently feeling exhausted and run down and significant numbers recorded sometimes having problems sleeping (34.5%), feeling irritable for no reason (32.4%) and having difficulties concentrating (43.6%).

In response to these results the branch is committed to taking this issue seriously. At this year’s AGM, members voted unanimously to make tackling stress and heavy workloads a key campaign for the union over the coming year. We’ll be pressing management to take on board their responsibilities as an employer and to treat these issues as important health and safety matters, starting by insisting that workloads are properly managed to allow us to take our work patterns entitlement to rest breaks, lunch breaks, time off in lieu and annual leave.

The campaign is being launched with “Reclaim your Lunch Hour” picnics: one at City and one at North campus. Too many of us work through our lunchtimes; the picnics are there to encourage us all to take what’s rightfully ours: a full lunch hour. So come and join us, de-stress and enjoy a FREE picnic lunch on Tuesday 8 June from 1-2pm. Picnic will be in Altab Ali park, Whitechapel High Street (City campus) and Highbury Fields, near the tree sculpture (North campus).

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