Minutes of the meeting of the Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN)
Thursday, June 20th, 2019
1. Attendance – There were 22 people representing 9 trades unions – ASLEF, BFAWU, CWU, GMB, NASUWT, NEU, PCS, TSSA and UCU, and organisations that included British Lung Foundation, British Safety Council, Client Earth and Labour Research Dept. It was hosted by UCU and convened by the Greener Jobs Alliance and the Hazards Campaign.
2. Union updates – Greener Jobs Alliance and Hazards Campaign provided a brief outline of progress since the February launch meeting was given. 13 unions representing the majority of TUC membership had signed up to the TUCAN Charter. A Union Guide on Air Pollution has been circulated. Unions are welcome to adapt it for distribution to their own reps. Posters and stickers have been distributed and there has been useful coverage in a number of health and safety journals. A TUCAN page has been set up on the GJA web site where the charter and guide can be downloaded. There will be an Air Pollution workshop at the annual Hazards Conference in July.
Each union provided information on air pollution and related developments. Some had organised fringe meetings at annual conference and others are producing new guidance for reps. UCU will be running training courses that would feature air pollution issues. Motions on calling a climate emergency had been passed
3. Other organisation updates – LRD publishing a new guide on ‘Unions, climate change and just transition’. Client Earth are publishing a 2 page briefing as part of the Healthy Air Campaign. A couple of references to occupational hazards have been inserted and TUCAN has supported. British Lung Foundation is updating the school guidance in conjunction with NEU. Health care professionals are being mobilised and lobbying activity with the Clean Air Parents Network. British Safety Campaign launched the ‘Time to Breathe’ campaign along with the Canairy app to monitor outdoor worker exposure. It had not been easy to get employer buy-in and currently restricted to London. Event in Manchester in late September being planned.
4. Campaigns on the legal framework and guidance – There have been calls for a new Clean Air Act. Likely to be an Environment Bill with a Clean Air chapter. Will be primary legislation with potential for secondary legislation. Priorities are a) need for improved legal limits with a shorter timescale for introduction b) duties on public bodies c) duty to provide healthy air plans.Action a) Healthy Air Campaign submissions should be circulated to trade union parliamentary groups b) Provide input on the link with other law, particularly HASAWA, COSHH and EPA. Issues of lack of defined legal duties compared to goal setting, plus lack of political will to enforce. C) Hazards and interested unions to liaise with Katie at Client Earth
5. Monitoring equipment – Review of products currently available. Identifying sectors and workplaces for union based considered. Action – a) GJA to explore options and identify a potential project. A case study will require a minimum of 3 months b) BSC considering making the Canairy app available to everyone rather than just via employers c) Use the Metro Mayor elections to press for greater commitments including installation of more monitoring stations to make the app more viable outside London d) MH (BSC) to circulate case studies
6. Union rep guidance and other resources – Potential for using on union rep courses. Action – a) JJ to develop a couple of course activities b) provide template for individual unions on request c) A Part 2 guide to provide more detail and incorporate case studies, more on limits of PPE
7. TUCAN Co-ordination role and future arrangements – Consider a TUCAN conference in the Autumn with potential for regional events. Press for TUCAN presence in upcoming trade union events like TUC. Action – a) GJA and Hazards to approach NW TUC re linking to their JT conference b) MH to help with co-ordination around circulation of updates
8. AoB and date of next meeting – Autumn meeting. Action – JN to circulate options
Greater Manchester Hazards Centre
Windrush Millennium Centre,
70 Alexandra Road
Tel: 0161 636 7558