Archives for July 9th, 2001

MORE STRESS IN PUBLIC SECTOR

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 July, 2001

Public sector workers experience more stress than those working in the private sector. This is the finding of a study of managers across eight European countries sponsored by IT company Nextra. The study found that 42% of public sector staff work 45 hours or more per week, compared with 25% across all UK sectors. Employees said there was a direct connection between working long hours and stress. While 63 per cent of private companies used flexible teleworking giving staff remote access to IT facilities in the office as a way to reduce pressure, only 40 percent of public bodies provided remote access.Public sector union UNISON is continuing its campaign to reduce stress caused by call center working – see Publicnet 19 June 2001. Call center technology gives management an unrivalled opportunity to monitor staff performance throughout the working day or night. UNISON has found that monitored workers reported higher workloads, decreased job satisfaction, more supervisory-relations problems and less skill use. Monitored workers also reported more boredom, tension, anxiety,depression, anger and fatigue than non-monitored employees, as well as more stress-related illnesses. The union calls for management to use the monitoring facility in ways that help staff and encourage better performance rather than as a means of discipline or intimidation.

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CALL FOR GREATER COMMITMENT FROM CRIME FIGHTING PARTNERSHIPS

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 July, 2001

Home Office Minister John Denham has challenged all partners in over 400 local crime reduction partnerships to make a full contribution to ensure that they all perform to the level of the best. Persuading all partners, which include local authorities, the probation service, health authorities, the voluntary sector, local business and residents as well as the police, to work together in the common cause of reducing crime is proving difficult.Although there are clear signs that many partnerships have invested considerable energy and enthusiasm, others are failing to deliver. There are problems with about one third of the partnerships, many of whom last year failed to set specific targets for reducing burglary and vehicle crime. They were brought into line by a grand tour of the country by Jack Straw, who was Home Secretary at that time, and his ministers.

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TACKLING WORK RELATED STRESS

Abstracts, PublicNet: 9 July, 2001

Health and Safety ExecutiveExplains that work related stress is a symptom of an organizational problem and not an individual weakness. It is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them. It is not an illness but can lead to increased problems with ill health. If it is prolonged, or particularly intense, it can lead to physical effects such as heart disease or back pain. It can also lead to psychological effects such as anxiety or depression. One in five people in the workplace in the UK experience work related stress. It advises a partnership approach between employer and employee to tackle the problem.

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