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21 April 2003

UNISON launches Violence Survey

Scotland's largest public sector union, UNISON, have today launched, what they describe as, the most comprehensive survey on violence in the public sector and utilities ever carried out in Scotland.

"Violence in the public sector is on the increase," said Jim Devine, UNISON's Scottish Organiser.

"Whether they work in the NHS, local authorities or the utilities, our members report that physical and verbal abuse is on the increase.

"Recently we have seen one man jailed for head-butting a nurse in an Accident and Emergency Unit and another jailed for threatening to fly a plane into a benefit office.

"It is not part of the job to be physically and verbally abused at work. Therefore, we are today launching the most comprehensive survey ever carried out in the public sector to determine the true extent of the problem.

"Our survey will cover various subjects including racial, sectarian and sexual abuse. Members will be asked to fill in a questionnaire, contact our website or participate in one-to-one interviews.

This survey is part of our Health and Safety Committee's Zero Tolerance campaign and the results will be launched at our Conference in June."


[Note to Editor - Copy of survey to print out or fill in online is on the UNISON's website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/safety/violencesurvey.html]