Low Pay

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2011 Energy Service Group Conference
1 March 2011


UNISON remains committed to gender equality within all our pay structures and we commend the highly successful on-going campaign financed and delivered by our organisation to achieve this end.

At the same time low pay appears to have been largely ignored as a priority of our members.

Since 1990 UNISON has taken responsibility for local pay bargaining in most energy companies often at a single table bargaining arrangement.

This has resulted in lower paid members being largely ignored in the pursuit of annual percentage increases and in turn this has resulted in the differential between grades expanding year on year.

We call upon the Energy Service Group Executive, in conjunction with the Business and Environment Working Group, to identify where low pay bargaining has been specifically used to affect improvements to pay scales, to establish examples of good working practices and to share these with all branches within the Business and Environment Sector to further the interest of low pay members.

In addition we believe a workshop should be arranged at the 2011 Energy seminar to look at the specific issues low pay may have on our members and their families with a view to delivering some strategic planning to target the issue of low pay across the energy sector. In this regard low pay may even be identified as a barrier to trade union membership and by addressing low pay we may increase recruitment and retention.

Thirdly we believe UNISON should increase awareness and access to learning amongst it’s membership particularly with regard to life long learning and specialist training courses that could enable low pay members to improve their education and training and thereby offer them real hope of career advancement.

Western Energy Branch

22nd February 2011.