Union tools to ensure your job doesn't take over your life.

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Finland Making jobs better keeps you well
Job worries raise heart disease risks
Action as stress and bugs blight hospitals
Safety agency guilty of ‘institutional bullying’
Stress Network conference, 23-24 November, Birmingham
Strike action plan over teacher workloads
Pressure and job insecurity hits a 20-year high
Train drivers concerned over makeshift shrines
Britain NUJ welcomes BBC bullying action plan
Mental health charity bullies its own staff
Work stress led to school head’s suicide
Retailers shopped by exhausted staff

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Hazards worked to death campaign

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TUC fortnightly Changing Times

Crying shame Most of us have seen someone reduced to tears by work stresses. But crying can be just the start of it. Some workers get so distressed they opt for suicide. And workplace stress is geting worse. Hazards 101, January-March 2008

Hazards, Global
Drop dead
It's the thoroughly modern way to die at work. Top occupational diseases of the 21st century will be heart attacks, suicide and strokes. Hazards argues that none of us should be worked into the ground.
Special online briefing, Hazards, 5 August 2003

Hazards, Global
Get a life!
Yeah, you've dealt with the chemicals, you are waist deep in risks assessments and the health and safety committee is tackling everything from soft loo roll to hard hats. And you still feel like a zombie. The Hazards factsheet says it is time to use our unions to get a life...
Hazards 78 Get a life! factsheet [PDF]

Get a life! image

Guidance on welfare at work
HSE online guidance for employers on welfare provisions at the workplace answers questions on whether employers should provide toilet and washing facilities (yes), drinking water (yes), facilities at remote workplaces (maybe) and temporary workplaces (yes, so far as is reasonably practicable), arrangement for meals and meal breaks (yes) and rooms for smokers (no, but…).
Risks 273, 9 September 2006 HSE welfare at work online guide

ILO work and family webpages

CUPE, Canada
Workload campaign
News, contract language, surveys and background documents on workload and how to win better working conditions, from the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Workload survey tool
Workload solutions checklist

Enough overwork: Taking action on workload

Winning against overwork: Getting it in the agreement

USA: Guide to safety, work schedules, shiftwork and long hours
US government safety research body NIOSH has published an online guide to the health and safety problems related to demanding work schedules, shiftwork and long working hours. Issues covered include overtime and extended work shifts, road related risks in overtired workers and shift patterns. There's also a useful links section, although one enormous omission is union-related resources - particularly remiss given the message on many bumper stickers in the US: "Unions: the folks that brought you the weekend." Worldwide, struggles for a shorter working week were central to the formation and development of unions.
Risks 198, 12 March 2005 NIOSH work schedules and safety webpages

ACTU, Australia
It's about time for a balance
Resources from the Australian Council of Trades Unions to assess, audit and organise around working time.

Reasonable hours webpage

Reasonable hours campaign news

ACTU guidelines on shiftwork and extended working hours

Reasonable Hours Test Case: Summary Of Research 19 November 2001

Reasonable Hours Test Case - Fact Sheet 19 November 2001

Background paper outlining ACTU’s approach to the Reasonable Hours case

Extended Working Hours: Counting the costs

Cross-national comparisons - Work time around the world

Harvard work hours, health and safety website, USA

USA, Work to live vacation campaign

The Work to Live Campaign "was created to do just that, to bring some sanity to a workplace out of control. Our goal is to amend the national labor laws so that our work practices reflect who we say we are—parents, citizens, and members of communities. You can't be those things with a 60-hour week and a one-week vacation."

Work to live

USA, Take back your time day
This US website notes: "On Friday, October 24, 2003, thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans will JUST SAY NO to the overwork, over-scheduling and overstress that threaten to overwhelm our lives. They'll take the day or part of it off work, and join in hundreds of activities to initiate a much-needed national conversation about work/life balance and how we can reclaim it."
Take back your time day

TUC, Britain
Changing times: The TUC work-life balance webpages

News and resources on work-life balance from the UK Trades Union Congress... more

TUC Changing Times News e-bulletin

Alternative work schedules
Control over work hours and alternative work schedules bargaining factsheet
AFL-CIO factsheet [pdf], Spring 2001

Work hours image

NZCTU, New Zealand
What's Get a life! about?
The Get A Life! campaign is about a quality of working life - at work and after work. The Get a Life! campaign is about restoring some work/life balance. It's about achieiving changes in laws and in collective agreements to allow workers to Get A Life! ...
Get a life page
Background information
news archive

Get a life! campaigners

Shiftwork guide
Train drivers' union Aslef has made its authoritative Shiftwork, lifestyle and health guide available online. The 32 page guide is thoroughly referenced and is intended "to assist both our elected representatives and our members in coping with shiftwork and the long hours culture in Britain's railways." The guide is a useful resource for anyone concerned about shiftwork and long hours, whatever their industry.
Risks 131, 8 November 2003

FINSEC, New Zealand
Work and life – the great balancing act
New Zealand finance union FINSEC has launched a national work-life balance campaign.

FINSEC campaign details

FINSEC postcard campaign

FINSEC image

CAW, Canada

Fight speed up. CAW guide
"Management is pushing too hard. As in the past we need to fight speed-up, we need to fight short staffing and we need to resist excessive hours of work." Buzz Hargrove, CAW. more

CAW working conditions benchmarking study
Members of Canadian auto union CAW took strike action over "lean and mean" production methods. The union HQ developed its own "benchmarking" system on working conditions, something ignored in the company's own production-oriented system (Hazards 51). more

CAW Work Reorganization: Responding to Lean Production
The CAW union has always understood and been committed to an efficient and productive workplace producing quality goods and providing quality services. But this potential never was, and is not today, automatic. It is conditional on the ability of working people, through their unions, negotiating how these changes are implemented and how they shape our lives. Today, we face the challenge of "lean production", which represents an attempt to limit these changes to the needs of management. more

Changing world of work
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work resources and information on the changing world of work... more

Work life balance in UNISON
For UNISON work-life balance is a priority, says the UNISON work life balance website. “It's about working to live, not living to work. It's about making working time and working practices more flexible. UNISON believes all workers should have a right to work that does not damage their freedom to pursue activities and responsibilities outside the workplace.” The page has practical advice, rough guides, latest news and sample agreements – and even a Hemingway quote.
UNISON work life balance webpage

WORKTIME yourtime
Getting the right balance between work time and personal time is an issue for nearly everyone in work today – so communications union Connect has created a WORKTIMEyourtime website to help members make the best of their time. The union says: “Wherever you work and whatever your contractual position, these are common issues with common solutions,” including: TOIL (time off in lieu) Frequently Asked Questions; stress; and raising issues with management.
Connect WORKTIMEyourtime webpage

Working balance
The government’s Working balance website is packed with information, from news – including an interview with work-life balance minister Alan Johnson – and detailed advice on issues from work practices, to work-life solutions, to health and safety, to equal opps, to events, to funding sources, to awards, to…. Have a look for yourself.
Working balance