Greening Further Education

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2009 Local Government Service Group Conference
20 February 2009

This Conference believes that if we are to tackle climate change we have to negotiate changes to the way we work. Over two thirds of UK carbon dioxide emissions are work related.

Colleges teach and train over three million people every year. In doing so they use significant amounts of energy and other resources and generate a vast amount of student and staff travel. They therefore have significant role to play in helping to reduce workplace emissions.

Conference welcomes the Association of Colleges (AoC) ‘Green Colleges Declaration’ which commits colleges to sustainable development targets. Conference believes however that this initiative will only work if it’s backed up by joint agreements in every college on greening the workplace.

Conference further believes that UNISON environmental representatives are central to negotiating, and actioning, agreements on reducing college emissions. Conference notes with concern however that colleges have been reluctant to grant environmental representatives facility time.

Conference therefore calls on the Local Government Service Group Executive to:

1.Lobby Government to insert reference to union environmental representatives in the ACAS Code of Practice on Time off for Trade Union Duties

2.Lobby the AoC to agree joint guidelines calling on colleges to grant facility time to union environment representatives

3.Urge branches to work with UNISON college representatives to develop and negotiate incentivised Green Staff Travel Plans to reduce single occupancy car journeys by college staff

4.Work with branches to prioritise recruiting, and training, UNISON environmental representatives in colleges

Submitted by Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges Committee