Workplace Report May 2021

Health & safety news

Prison educators strike for safety

UCU lecturers’ union prison education members are due to strike for two days this month, following a one-day walk-out scheduled last month at 49 prison and young offender institutions. Covid health and safety concerns and on-site provision are at the heart of the dispute with education provider Novus.

The union claims the company has used complaints and investigations to intimidate its health and safety representatives, “making it difficult for staff to raise safety concerns”. More than two thirds of UCU members balloted last month voted for strike action.

“Strike action is never taken lightly, but prison educators will not allow Novus to put their health and safety at risk,” said UCU general secretary Jo Grady. “If Novus wants to avoid these strikes, it needs to listen to this strong mandate from staff, stop intimidating our health and safety representatives and withdraw the unfair complaints and investigations against them so that we can have meaningful discussions.”