Saturday 27 July 2013

CWU Girobank Gym, Alvescot 26 July 2013

Bootle Financial Services Branch visited the CWU Alvescot Training Centre for the official CWU Girobank Gym Launch. Bootle Financial Services gave the highest donation to Alvescot for the building of the Gym, with that, we were given the opportunity to name the Gym.

"Girobank was a British public sector financial institution founded in 1968 by the General Post Office.
The Wilson government placed an Act before Parliament and The Post Office's central planning department and its new Computer Division began business and technical planning for the new service.
The Post Office bought land at Bootle on Merseyside on the site of a sidings of the North Mersey Branch railway. It also built a large, purpose built office and data processing complex for the site. It was rumoured that the buildings had been planned with an alternative use as a hospital should the project be abandoned.
It started life as National Giro but went through several name changes, becoming National Girobank, then Girobank Plc (latterly trading as Alliance & Leicester Giro), before merging into Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank (now part of Santander Corporate Banking) in 2003.
The organisation chalked up notable firsts. It was the first bank designed with computerised operations in mind; the first bank in Europe to adopt OCR (optical character recognition) technology, the first UK bank to offer free accounts to individuals; the first bank to offer interest-bearing current accounts, and the first bank in Europe to offer telephone banking, operating several years prior to the start of Midland Bank's First Direct service. It is widely credited for shaking up the UK banking market, forcing competitors to innovate and respond to the needs of the mass market.
The staff were represented by a number of trade unions at the commencement of Girobank, Clerical grades (CPSA) Service Grades (UCW) Managers (NUCPS) Catering Managers (CMA) Engineers and Photo printers (POEU)
In 1985 CPSA Postal and Telecommunications section merged with the POEU to form the NCU. In 1995 the NCU merged with the UCW to form the CWU. In (2007) ALGUS was derecognised by the Alliance and Leicester and were then subsequently balloted to join the CWU. Following a number of mergers the managers union became PCS. The managers within Santander and part of PCS were successfully balloted to become members of the CWU.

It is ironic back in 1968 there was one company (GIROBANK) and five recognised trade unions, now in 2013 there is one union in old Girobank and Alliance and Leicester recognised areas and Five companies."

On the day, our chair, John Fairclough spoke a few words about the Girobank and its journey to where we are now and the history of the union on the Bootle Site. Also we heard from Trish Lavelle who spoke about the need for Unions to care about the health of their members, and well-being, along with education. Trish also spoke about the history of Alvescot and how generous Bootle Financial Services were in their donation to the Gym.

0151 966 2420

Sunday 21 July 2013

A Message from our H&S Officer

I have just passed my level 3 Diploma course. and would like thank  the branch for all the support they have given me on my TUC Diploma Course in Health and Safety Welfare and the Environment. The knowledge I have gained will able  me to have a higher understanding when dealing with Health and Safety matters and will give me a stronger voice In meetings with management. So this will mean a safer working environment for all our members, in the future.

The course went through the laws in Health and Safety  and using the tools like Risk Assessments and Job  Analysis/Body mapping  to identifying risks  in the workplace and how to do Audit reports.

How to do surveys and calculate the results and do a action plan in the workplace on the results found. How the environment in the workplace affects members in and out of work.

The course Went through some regulations in detail like Fire/Manual Handling and Personnel Protection Equipment also covering Asbestos Regulations.

We had to show evidence  that we are active  within Health and Safety in the workplace by photos and doing written reports and survey results. 

My overall project was on Musculoskeletal disorder from a result of a survey I did and my finding will be presented to Pitney Bowes and Santander in a form of a presentation at the next meeting.

Beverley Kenyon 
CWU Health and Safety Officer
Pitney Bowes Representative

0151 966 2420

Alan Kennedy On Duty for H&S at BFS

I attended the CWU's North West Regional Safety Forum on behalf of Beverley Kenyon, our H&S Officer.

The forum gives opportunities for Health & Safety Reps, from different CWU branches, to discuss issues that are affecting each other in their various workplaces; to share ideas and find potential resolutions. It also gives us a chance to start to bring local problems to the attention of CWU Head Office and the wider CWU community with a view to gain greater support if needed.

I was able to voice what your Health & Safety Reps are up to, for example: Beverley is due to present on Manual Handling Issues to our CWU Branch and Santander UK; My main project currently is trying to increase the number of trained Health & Safety Reps for our branch with an end goal to increase our presence and be a louder voice for you when it comes to improving health & safety issues on-site.

On a wider scale, the new Deregulation Bill that has just been drafted, which the government are trying to pass through parliament currently, was also discussed. The bill is part of their attempts to reduce the 'red-tape' which is reportedly costing businesses millions and slowing down the economy as a result. 

In actual fact what appears to be happening, at least from a health & safety point of view, is that current legislation that is in place to protect workers is being undermined by reducing the responsibility and liability of the employerIn other words: To take away the legal obligation of employers to invest in looking after their staff and increase profits instead.     


This is already being seen in branches, within Royal Mail, where accidents are being downgraded by employers to avoid having to report them to the HSE. 
The next meeting is set for the 23rd October 2013 and I will be working hard to try and bring you more information on these subjects as they develop.

Thank you

Alan Kennedy

0151 966 2420