Government 10 Year Transport Plan – The Role of the Workforce

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2004 Transport Service Group Conference
27 February 2004
Carried as Amended

Conference welcomes the Government’s decision to review progress on achieving the aims of its 10 Year Transport Plan which, so far, has failed to produce any major improvements in public transport provision, significantly reduce road congestion and reduce deaths and casualties on out roads and railways.

Conference notes that policy makers often overlook the role of employees in delivering safe, reliable and sustainable public transport services.

Privatisation of bus services was followed by attacks on pay and conditions, which has led eventually to major staff shortages. Rail privatisation was initially marked by reductions in staff, including train drivers with adverse impacts on services. Under-funding of local authorities has created staff shortages in key area e.g. transport planners and undermined their ability to support local services and schools’ transport.

Conference notes that car commuting to work accounts for a quarter of all car journeys and Transport 2000 estimates that, by the end of the decade, drivers will spend another week a year travelling in their cars as a result of congestion. This will not only add to the number of employees suffering from work-related stress but also to the thousands of drivers killed and injured in road accidents while travelling for work -related reasons.

Conference believes that paying proper attention to the health and safety of working people and their pay and conditions are essential elements of a sustainable transport policy.

Conference therefore instructs the Transport Service Group Executive, working with its sector committees and UNISON’s NEC, to pursue changes to the Government’s 10-Year Transport Plan and Employers’ policies, which are employee-friendly, by updating the UNISON transport policy document to include:

i)Greater promotion of Green Travel to Work Plans;

ii)More use of teleworking, subject to appropriate health and safety checks;

iii)More encouragement for bicycle allowances;

iv)Full protection for employees pay and conditions including pensions, which may be threatened by any reorganisations, merger, take-overs, PFI schemes;

v)Maintenance of services provided in-house by well trained, permanent staff;

vi)More support for employee training and development schemes through Union Learning Representatives and the Sector Skills Council.

Conference also instructs the Executive to ensure that these objectives are pursued in a way which enhances UNISON’s organisation and recruitment profile in the transport industry.