November has been young workers month and this year the campaign was to celebrate and raise awareness of our young trade unionist activists in UNISON could not be more important. We represent one of the fastest growing areas of our trade unions membership, with more young people rightly recognising the value of joining our movement and making their voice heard at work and fighting for better rights in employment.
This growth is without a doubt linked to the hard work and resilience of young members of our union, who work hard across our region and the country to promote activism in branches and demonstrate benefits of joining UNISON whilst at the same time working tirelessly to support our communities throughout the COVID crisis that we have faced this year.
Young Workers Month is held every year to promote the importance of trade unions in modern life and to focus on the issues young people face in the workplace. This year TUC Young Workers focused on the theme of Mental Health. Mental health is becoming more prominent in the workplace with employers being held to account on inflexible workplaces, heavy workloads and low pay but there is still much more to do. Trade unions have been working to hold employers to account to improve conditions and reduce stress.
As a housing local government officer, I have seen the impact of stress which has been exacerbated through this national pandemic at work
As a housing local government officer, I have seen the impact of stress which has been exacerbated through this national pandemic at work and the need for this issue to be campaigned upon alongside the other issues that young workers across our region disproportionately suffer from.
We have seen governmental failures resulting in a lack of PPE when people needed it most for protection at work, to a statutory sick pay policy that does not pay the bills especially for a young worker. These are affecting young workers today on top of already concerning problems like unhealthy working practices, low pay, zero-hour contracts resulting in insecure work, unsupportive workplaces and a lack of control for the individual.
Ultimately it is clear that young workers have faced the brunt of this crisis and it is up to our movement to get young people involved in our campaigns and hold employers to account to improve working practices.