Today marks #HiddenHeroesDay, when we commemorate those in the prisons, IRCs, probation and youth justice workforce who are often unsung as they work to keep us safe.
The first annual #HiddenHeroesDay took place last year, and saw prisons, probation and youth justice services across the U.K. pay tribute to their workforce for their critical public service especially during the immensely challenging COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, whilst the pandemic has not yet fully lifted, the situation is much different to how it was previously.
Now, with the light at the end of the tunnel, we can begin to focus on making a better future post-pandemic.
Community is a general union, which means we welcome all workers and advocate for them on the specific issues that impact their sector.
So for example, Community is an education union with our Voice Community division. As an education union, we campaign on the future of education closing the attainment gap and rebuilding the sector.
We are also a steelworkers union, a union for the self-employed, and most importantly for #HiddenHeroesDay we are a justice sector workers union. We represent more workers in privatised prisons than any other union in the country.
For this #HiddenHeroesDay, we’re calling for real change to our justice sector. It cannot be that we just thank our hidden heroes once a year, we need to make their workplaces better as a real acknowledgment of the difficult work they undertook during the pandemic.
Earlier this year, we launched our #KeepUsSafe campaign. No one should live with the constant threat or fear that they might be assaulted while at work. Yet those who work in the justice, custodial and immigration sector are all too often faced with that reality. 1 in 4 justice, custodial and immigration sector workers tell us they have been assaulted at work at least once in the last year alone.
These are a group of workers that go above and beyond to keep the public safe. Despite this, assaults have been allowed to continue to rise and the problem is getting worse.
Since 2010, assaults on prison staff have increased by a staggering 247%.
For this year’s #HiddenHeroesDay, we’re asking everyone to thank their hidden heroes by joining our #KeepUsSafe campaign. Sign our petition, contact your MP, make your voice heard. To do this, click here.
For those in the prisons, probation and youth justice services wondering can I join a union? You absolutely can. Click here to join Community today.
Can I join a union? Visit here to find out more about our rates and how to join.
If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 389 6332.