2021 Virtual Special WET Service Group Conference

12 June 2021 11:30am–5:15pm


UNISON’s lay democracy is at the heart of everything we do. In the past year the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on how we organise our union.  Although we are unable to hold our Water, Environmentand Transport (WET)Service Group Conference in the normal way, UNISON’s WET Service Group Executive Committee has agreed to hold a Special WET Service Group Conference online on Saturday 12 June 2021.

2021 Virtual Special WET Conference_Decisions_Booklet_20210614

Special WET Service Group Conference may look and feel very different to what we are used to, but the Service Group Executive (SGE) feels that it is important to give our members and activists a platform to discuss the issues the Service Group faces and use our democratic processes to shape how we work in the future.

Motions should be submitted via the OCS and should follow one of the following themes: 

i) Securing a sustainable future for workers in Water, Environment and Transport Sectors post pandemic. 

This should focus on one or more of the following areas: 

  1. securing increased investment to improve water quality / the Environment Agency / bringing back into public ownership privatised water companies across UK; greater public ownership of public transport. 

  2. the conditions necessary to secure improvements in pay. 

  3. the key importance of equalities for WET members in delivering public services. 

  4. decent and secure jobs across all sectors in which the union organises. 

  5. the key importance of UNISON members in WET in delivering public services. 

  6. the creations of a green and sustainable economy, with public transport provision at the heart. 

  7. well organised workplaces, a fairer labour market and overhaul of employment and trade union rights. 

 ii) Securing the health, safety and wellbeing of workers providing services in the  Water, Environment and Transport Sectors into the future 

This should focus on one or more of the following areas as they apply within the Service Group: 

  1.  health and safety across our workplaces in the context of Covid, from the front line to home working. This can include vaccination policies and issues related to workplace testing. 

  2. the comparison of responses across the nations and regions where we organise. 

  3. union resilience – how our Service Group/ Branch/ workplace organisation and the wider union held up. 

  4. how we progress into a Covid-secure future within the Service Group. 

  5. the extent to which a decade of austerity and regulatory constraints has impacted on the safety of WET members when at carrying out activities in the workplace as well as the impact on the response to the pandemic. 

Motions will be debated on a virtual platform. Speakers will need to be identified and nominated in advance – please give some thought to who this may be. 

Further information on speakers will be sent to relevant branches when composites have been agreed.

The conference bulletin will have further information on motion submission from the SOC and submission deadlines. 

Delegates should be registered as normal through the OCS. 

The pandemic continues to place significant pressure on our branches and activists and in these unprecedented circumstances it is understandable that attendance at the Special Service Group Conference may be affected.   

After the deadline for branch registration has passed, an assessment will need to be made. If the quorum and/or our rule book obligations on proportionality and fair representation are unlikely to be met, the National Executive Committee, in consultation with the Service Group reserves the right to postpone the event until such time we can comply with these obligations.