UCU Reps at Dundee University win the STUC Frank Maguire Award for Health and Safety

April 14th 2014

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has announced that the recipients of this year’s health and safety award are Dundee University - University and College Union (UCU) reps Marion Sporing and Ian Ellis.

The award winners are not only highly competent trade union health and safety representatives but also, through their own interests and specialism, have developed branch health and safety structures, driving health and safety further up the trade union agenda in UCU. Both have been instrumental in identifying health and safety hotspots on high risks such as stress, ensuring employers carry out risk assessments to identify action required to reduce harm to UCU members.

Ian Ellis has a particular interest in biological safety in the School of Dentistry, this is an area of health and safety rarely highlighted and he has been instrumental in driving forward UCU’s position on biological safety at Dundee University. Ian was also involved in developing democratic health and safety structures at the University working with employers and other trade unions to ensure the Dundee University Health and Safety Committee addresses the needs of a modern higher education establishment.

Marion Sporing is a trained mediator and practitioner and values the role of mediation in alternative dispute resolution. Dundee University has a well-established mediation service developed with the support of the UCU and other trade unions. This service is particularly appropriate for cases of a highly sensitive nature such as mental health, stress and sickness absence and the UCU have ensured that participation in mediation neither affect the rights of the individual nor the unions rights to represent their members.

Grahame Smith STUC General Secretary said “Higher Education in Scotland has been under tremendous pressure in recent years with staff being required to do far more with less resources, a situation that in turn can have a detrimental impact on the health, safety and welfare of staff as well as, potentially the learning environment for students have both worked hard, individually and together ensure health and safety is not compromised by cuts.

Patrick McGuire, partner in Thompsons Scotland said “At Thompson’s our priority is to prevent workplace accidents and injustice and work together, not just with the trade union movement but with anyone who shares this belief. We are delighted therefore to celebrate the work of Marion Sporing and Ian Ellis, very worthy recipients of the Frank Maguire award. They clearly demonstrate that by promoting health and safety and working with the interests of everone in mind higher education can be delivered in a a way that meets the needs of staff, students and the university.

ENDS

For further information please contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100

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