A new attitude to violence at work

Tim Halpin, UNISON steward at the Grace Eyre Foundation (GEF: supporting adults with learning difficulties) supported a member through the grievance process which resulted in  more rigorous use of existing procedures so observations from staff have more influence.

Staff complaints about pushing and shoving by service users with complex needs are easily dismissed as part of the job, but that ignores the message from the service user as well as the impact on staff.

Tim Halpin

Tim said: “Sarah was being grabbed and hit while driving the minibus. After reporting it without  a satisfactory response, Sarah asked for support and was advised to speak to managers again, making them aware UNISON was involved. This resulted in an agreement to have experienced escort staff on the bus. When this was not implemented, we initiated the grievance process. A senior manager listened as Sarah explained how GEF’s policies were not followed and how risk assessments were inadequate without staff input.”

“The resulting eleven-point action plan included retraining for managers and agreement that staff can call a meeting with relevant people to deal with areas of concern. Management thanked Sarah for the positive impact she made.”