Dietitians do trade unionism

David Hamblin
Last modified on 04/06/2019

David Hamblin Organising, Communications, & Campaigns Officer

Dietitians Week is all about those who work in dietetics. The BDA Trade Union is all about looking after those who work in dietetics.

In order that dietitians are able to do their jobs the BDA Trade Union passionately believes that they should be paid a proper wage, that dietetic services need to be properly funded, and that dietitians deserve to do their work without fear of discrimination.

This is why the BDA Trade Union help negotiate pay in the NHS, encouraging investment in dietetic services, or protecting you at work the BDA is looking out for you. We recognise that there is strength in numbers when you have a shared interest. This is why the BDA Trade Union is part of Trades Union Congress (TUC) which collectively represents over five million workers. Our engagement with both the Wales TUC and Scottish TUC are particularly important due to the way in which health policy is devolved in both Wales and Scotland.

Trade Union Representatives are very much on the front line of protecting our members’ interests in the workplace. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of our reps is that they are in the best position to understand the needs and demands placed on Dietitians and Dietetic Support Workers as they are Dietitians and Dietetic Support Workers themselves.

We organise training for our Trade Union representatives ensuring that our BDA Trade Union Reps are equipped with the skills they need to assist with their fellow BDA members in the workplace. We also run refresher days for our reps to keep them up to speed and are in the process of establishing our first nationwide Trade Union Reps Conference on 5 October 2019 in Birmingham.

The BDA Trade Union is at the forefront of addressing equalities issues. We ensure our reps are best equipped to challenge discrimination in the workplace. However we are not solely reactive but we are in fact proactive in promoting Equality issues. The BDA Trade Union participates in Pride events (alongside fellow Trade Union blocs). Furthermore we are actively involved in TUC Women’s Conference and contribute to a number of TUC equality forums including LGBT+, BME, Disability, and Youth. In 2019 we sent our first delegate to TUC Young Workers Conference ensuring that the next generation of activists are aware of the vital role dietitians play in our NHS.                                                            

We are also involved with ‘Health Campaigns Together’ and contributed to the NHS 70th Birthday Celebration and were able to use that opportunity to have a dietitian and BDA member speak from the rostrum on the important role that dietetics plays within the health service (and why we need sustained investment in the field and the people who work within it).

So the BDA Trade Union is proud to support Dietitians Week and proud to support our members. We look forward to many more (both Dietitians Weeks and members!).

If you want to learn more about the BDA Trade Union follow us on twitter @BDA_TradeUnion.

If you want to book a Trade Union speaker for free for a BDA event please contact tusecretary@bda.uk.com or our Organising Officer directly on d.hamblin@bda.uk.com.

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