Conference Report 2013

The theme of the conference was "Sick Workplaces, Sick Workers" and was the most successful of our annual events yet with over 90 delegates subscribing.

Opening Plenary Session Chairman, Ian Draper welcomed delegates and explained that due to illness one of the planned speakers, John McClean of GMB, was unable to attend. His session speech is included with these documents, and we thank him for his input. Conference Programme

John McClean Speech

The Stress Network and its background and ongoing work Vaughan Skirrey, Deputy Network Coordinator gave a short presentation on the work of the Stress Network. This can also be seen in the You Tube link on the next line A year in the Network
Trade Union experiences Susan Murray, UNITE, was originally invited to Chair Conference but kindly agreed to make a presentation from her perspective, instead of John McLean. Susan Murray presentation

The You Tube Link for Susan Murray and Geoff Smith presentations

Stress and Wellbeing in the Police Service Mark Botham, North Yorkshire Police Federation, and a member of the Stress Network Steering Group, gave an outline of the recent work carried out by Police Federation using surveys of their members to look at how Police Officers were feeling the effects of changes and cuts in funding. North Yorkshire Police Federation report - Workloads Support and Morale
Performance Management the not so new Tyranny in the workplace Professor Phil Taylor, Strathclyde University, Glasgow gave his presentation based on research carried out for STUC and in particular focused on the Finance and Insurance sectors. His findings are published on line and reflect massive effects on the workforce of the use of Performance Management to force workers to fit a one size only model. A video recording of his presentation is on YouTube and we thank Philip Lewis of UNISON Camden Branch for making the video and posting it. Professor Phil Taylor presentation

The YouTube link for Professor Phil Taylor

The STUC Performance Management Report

A new approach to Work-related Stress in the training of stewards and safety representatives. Geoff Smith and Russ Walters from NASUWT North-West Region gave a presentation with illustrative video material on a new approach to the use of training materials to focus specifically on stress effects in the workplace. Although designed with schoolteachers in mind it was not necessarily entirely education based, and could be used in other work sectors. The approach was about getting people to understand that where stress was clearly evident in a workplace, there were things that could be done to eradicate it and to raise it in discussion with management.] document awaited
The workshop sessions were spread over Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, allocating two hours to each session and delegates were given a choice of topics to attend. There were ten workshops in all, facilitated by Stress Network members or visiting speakers. Workshop information for delegates
Workshop Title Brief outline Papers to download
Workshop 1 - Saturday afternoon Body Mapping facilitated by Susan Murray, UNITE The session examined how key workplace stressors can be identified through effects on the body Body mapping

Risk mapping

Workshop 2 - Stress Risk Assessments in a climate of Austerity, facilitated by Sean Duignan The whole issue of Stress and risk assessments carried out effectively and meaningfully in the workplace is a constant source of concern to Trade Union Stewards and Safety Representatives Workshop plan

Workshop grid

Activity part 1

Activity part 2

Case study 1

Case study 2

Workshop 3 - Organisational Dysfunction in the NHS, facilitated by Rachael Pope, retired Physiotherapist, Doctorate researcher and member of Stress Network Steering Group. Developing her work on negative behaviours further, Rachael has brought more information on workplace cultures. Delegates were asked to think about their own workplace experiences and the issues of negative behaviours and organisational responses to those behaviours Pope-Burnes paper model of organisational dysfunction (22 pages)
Organisational Dysfunction workshop report
Workshop 4 - Stress solutions in training courses presented by Geoff Smith Developing from the plenary session presentation, Geoff and Russ looked at newer ways of developing training Stress solutions
Workshop 5 - Tackling Negative Attitudes towards Mental health in the workplace, facilitated by Ian Draper, Stress Network National Coordinator The issue of Mental health in the workplace is one that is largely unknown or ignored, being - too delicate a matter to be discussed' in the views of many workers, stewards and especially managers. The initial idea was to create an advice sheet after further work has been carried out, perhaps next November Attitudes to Mental Health at Work

Mental Health Study

Workshop 6 -' Sunday morning - Occupational Health, Sickness Absence and attendance Management facilitated by Scott Donohoe, Glasgow City UNISON and Stress Network Steering group member Using case study materials and video examples, the workshop examined how sickness absence and its management creates serious problems in the workplace Sickness Absence Management
Workshop 7 - The Stresses of being a Steward in times of austerity facilitated by Bob woods and Vaughan Skirrey, UNISON and Stress Network members Following on from previous popular work at our conferences, Bob & Vaughan moved from The Stresses of being a Steward, to look more closely at how Trade Union roles in the current climate are affected by management ploys against workers and Trade Unions and their lay officials Stewards Stress -Case Study
Workshop 8 - HSE Stress Management Standards in times of recession, facilitated by Les Roberts, Stress Network Treasurer With continued Government hostility towards unions and especially the whole issue of H&S in the workplace, we continue to face a cliff-face of opposition to recognition that workplaces are unsafe. The Management Standards remain largely ignored and unknown in many managers' minds Management Standards Approach

The slides for this workshop

Workshop 9 - Raising Concerns in the workplace and achieving outcomes facilitated by Rachael Pope and Sean Duignan, Stress Network members The ongoing climate of fear over the reporting of inappropriate behaviours and attitudes in the workplace by both workers and managers has been in the news headlines in recent years. Whistleblowing and reporting of problems creates a difficult atmosphere within which those who would wish to highlight difficulties can work without fear of retribution document missing
Workshop 10 - Performance management issues in the workplace facilitated by Ian Draper, Stress Network Coordinator Drawing on the presentation by Phil Taylor and delegates' knowledge and experience the work shop set about creating key points for a future handout of advice on dealing with Performance Management issues at work Performance Management Workshop

ACAS guide How to Manage Performance Management

Performance Management Issues in the Workplace

Closing Session and additional information A short session to close the conference included general thanks to all who had participated in and organised or worked on conference planning etc Closing Session Slides

Delegates List

List of References and Resources