rcreport0615

The university has depended upon the goodwill of staff to provide key additional

support roles for manyyears.

This is often unrecognised yet provides an essential function within our

community.

 

Fire Wardens and First Aiders are prime examples of this.

We are all aware of the hazards of fire, both to property and person, and the fact

that we need trained staff to ensure pronrpt and safe evacuation in the event of

an emergency.

 

The university now provides a growing role within the community.

Evening classes and lectures, exhibitions, and open days all contribute to the risk

factor and increase the need for us to ensure we are equipped to respond

immediately to any eventuality

 

The first aiders are likewise first on the scene if an accident or incident occurs.

Anything from cut fingers to fainting trips and falls to machine injuries, the first

aiders respond to prevent any escalation and ensure the patient is protected

until medical assistance arrives.

 

These roles are in a very real sense contributing to protecting and saving lives,

raising the profile of the universityand contributin to our efforts in marketing

and recruitment.

 

So how do we recognise the essential contribution that is made bythe staff who

undertake tlre stressful and demanding duties that are required by these roles?

 

There is no recognition of anykindfor the staffwho assume these additional

responsibilities.

 

Unite has been asking for some time now that Dundee University considers

rewarding t}ese volunteers, not hecause they require it, but rather because it

seems the right thing to do.

 

The majority of these volunteers are support staffand we have seen tlese staff

numbers dwindle over the last 10 years.

We now employ

the lowest ratio of university support staff in the country.

 

As we see further proposed reductions in this staff group we must ask how these

roles can be filled in the future if we do not seek to recognise them in some way.

The recent fire in the Giasgow School of Art is a classic example that we should

never become complacent.

 

Unite recognises that the university is seeking financial savings and therefore

understands that a financial reward may not be practical.

 

We do however feel thatwithoutsome form of acknowledgement staff may

withdraw from these duties, many have already done so.

This is not because they are uncaring; rather these responsibilities place staff

under additional pressure when they have seen their workload [and stress

levels] increase because of staff reductions.

 

We therefore propose thatwe offer a simple additional days leave to these key

voiunteer groups, (Fire Wardens and First Aiders)

 

We would suggest the Christmas break, when activities tendto run down to

accommodate the holidays in any case, so that there would be little or no

disruption to the departments.

Perhaps 24th December for Fire Wardens and January 3rd for First Aiders as

allocated days.

If these dates are not convenient for the departments then a mutually acceptable

day at a later time could be agreed.

 

This would enhance the moral of staff who perform these duties, [required by

law] at a minimal (some would say non existent) cost to the institute and

hopefully address the problems we have retaining these roles.

 

It would also ensure that as an organisation we could be seen to demonstrate our

commitmentto our Safety Responsibilities and ensure legal compliance.

 

We have considered this rnatter for some time and taking all fuctors into account

this proposal would seem the bestway forward.

 

G.Hannan

UNITE Secretary