The Water Framework Directive and UNISON members

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2017 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
23 February 2017

This Conference notes that the EU Water Framework Directive was adopted by the EU on 23 October 2000 and came into force in December 2000. The Directive established a framework for the protection of inland surface waters (rivers and lakes), transitional waters (estuaries), coastal waters and groundwater. It sought to ensure that all aquatic ecosystems and, with regard to their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands met ‘good status’ by 2015.

This Conference also notes that the responsibilities conferred on water companies by the Directive are directly linked to jobs in various departments.

This Conference further notes that decision to exit the EU could impact on the commitment of the UK to abide by the Directive, and it could even be abolished and/or replaced as a result.

This Conference believes that it is vital that workers in the water industry are heard in any discussions on this matter during the exiting the EU negotiations, especially any implications for our members jobs, pay, and terms and conditions.

This Conference calls on the Water, Environment, and Transport service group executive to

(i) monitor developments as regards any proposed changes to, or abolition of, the Water Framework Directive, and implications for our members jobs, pay, and terms and conditions;

(ii) to report as appropriate to members in the water industry, and in particular those whose jobs might be directly affected;

(iii) to call for UNISON members in the water industry to be consulted on any proposed changes, and respond to any Government consultations on this matter, or to be proactive if necessary in making our members views known via the relevant channels.