Issue date
14 Sep 2016

Congress notes with deep concern and is appalled by the announcement by the government on 2 September that Susan Johnson, former Chief Executive of Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, who does not appear to have any history of worker representation, had been appointed to the executive board of the Health and Safety Executive as a representative of employees.

Congress further notes that the minister has seen fit to disregard both a convention that extends back to 1974, and the spirit and intention of the Health and Safety at Work Act, by failing to consult the TUC in making this appointment.

Congress is appalled by this attack on tripartism and urgently resolves to:

i     press for reassurance from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Chair of the Health and Safety Executive that the ideal of tripartism has not been abandoned and will be respected by both DWP and HSE

ii     ensure that all future appointments for worker representatives will be consulted upon with the TUC before any appointments are made

iii    seek to negotiate with government that the tripartite balance of the HSE executive board is restored through the appointment of two further worker representatives who actually have relevant current experience of representing workers, with those two worker seats not held by TUC nominees becoming independent board members

iv    seek the removal of Susan Johnson from the HSE board as she is not an appropriate representative of employees.

Congress demands parity on the HSE board between employers and trade unions, to ensure that workers’ health, safety and welfare interests are fully represented.

Mover: GMB

Seconder: Fire Brigades Union

Supporter: Prospect