After moving to the third floor of Crowndale, UNISON health and safety reps soon noticed the often sweltering temperatures, and gathered feedback from many concerned members, who often felt ill because of the heat.
Reps installed thermometers and began monitoring temperatures every day in the summer of 2007, demonstrating that on the third floor temperature surpassed the Council’s 24°C trigger point 80% of the time, and exceeded the second 27°C trigger point over 30% of the time.
One member on the floor had just spent some weeks in Bangladeshi textile factories, and commented that the temperature was about the same, but that at least in the factories workers could open the windows and get a breeze going through!
Temperature monitoring began again in the summer of 2008, and reps persisted in raising the issue at the CSF Joint Consultative Committee, the regular meeting between UNISON and senior management, when management agreed to install an air cooling system on the first and third floors.
Reps continued to monitor the temperature and chase up the installation, which was eventually completed in April 2010. As the project ended up so delayed, in the meantime safety reps negotiated interim control measures including portable air conditioning units, additional breaks and agreements for staff to work elsewhere in hot periods.