Strathclyde Fire fighter Wins STUC One Workplace Equality Award 2009

April 19th 2009

Rt. Hon. Harriet Harman MP, Minister for Women and Equality, will present this year’s One Workplace Equality Award 2009 to recognise the role of Scottish trade union members in promoting equality in the workplace (10:55 hrs Monday 20th April) at the STUC Annual Congress in Perth.

The recipient of the 2009 One Workplace Equality Award is Alex Miller, Brigade Secretary for Strathclyde for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in Scotland. In 2005, Alex was among the first Equality Reps trained by the STUC’s One Workplace Equal Rights Project. He has been the driving force behind a number of FBU initiatives to promote equality and tackle discrimination:

• Research with school pupils on why women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds do not apply for jobs in the Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) in Scotland.

• A new maternity policy that takes full account of the issues raised by FBU female fire fighters and is actively being recommended as an example of good practice to other Fire& Rescue Services.

• The design and purchase of a welfare pod to ensure dignified facilities are available for firefighters at protracted fire incidents.

• An audit of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue premises to establish the provision of dignified facilities and access for disabled persons, resulting in management agreeing a schedule for the necessary improvements

• extending flexible working provisions for staff with care responsibilities.

Harriet Harman MP, Minister for Women and Equality, said:

"Congratulations to Alex. He is a shining example of how trade union equality reps can be a catalyst for this change in the workplace, and make a real difference to men and women’s lives.

“Equality is vital for a modern economy, so that nobody is excluded and it can draw on the widest possible pool of talent, with everybody contributing. People mustn’t be driven out of the workplace or squeezed into a corner.

“Transparency and flexibility is the Equality reps tool. Earlier this month we extended flexible working to parents of older children, improved maternity pay, and our forthcoming Equality Bill will have tough measures to increase transparency in the workplace.”

Grahame Smith STUC General Secretary commented:

“Alex’s work shows why the impact of equality and diversity issues in workplaces should be considered at the outset and not as an after thought. He is an excellent example of how an equality rep can inspire action to make a real difference in the workplace.”

Alex said:

“I feel that this is an honour not only me but also for the Fire Brigades Union. Hopefully, both as an individual and as an organisation, we can make further improvements on our journey for true equality on behalf of our colleagues within the workplace.”

ENDS

For more information contact Zaffir Hakim, One Workplace Development Manager 0141 337 8100 or Ann Henderson STUC Assistant Secretary 0141 337 8100.

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