- 2018 Local Government Service Group Conference
- 22 February 2018
Conference notes that our members employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are under extreme pressure and that recent meat and food scandals may become the norm as we negotiate our way out of the European Union and into the hands of unknown trade deals.
Conference also notes the numbers of Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHI) and their support staff are being reduced through a preference by the FSA to get industry to take on the role of producer and regulator. This is privatisation and deregulation at the same time as an erosion of collective bargaining is taking place. Our members face stagnated wages, a loss of jobs and no career prospects along with a race to the bottom in their terms and conditions.
Conference calls upon the Service Group Executive to continue to defend our members’ terms and conditions, negotiated with the FSA as an independent regulatory function by:
1)Continuing to robustly negotiate for higher wages for our members through collective bargaining at the FSA;
2) Opposing privatisation and deregulation of meat hygiene inspection to maintain the highest food standards for all;
3) Continuing to increase our campaigning presence;
4) Opposing animal welfare abuses and working with animal welfare groups to uphold the highest standards in slaughterhouses in the UK and in countries where trade deals are potentially negotiated;
5) Making UNISON national media and communication resources available to highlight our campaigns to demand the FSA recruit new directly employed MHIs;
6) Supporting our members in the private companies delivering services to the FSA including organising and recruiting new members and fighting for better pay, terms and conditions;
7) Linking with our members who work tirelessly and under extreme pressure in local authorities as Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers by highlighting the reduction in their numbers across local authorities in the UK as well as campaigning against the flawed “Regulating Our Future” FSA agenda which is about deregulation, not regulation;
8) Educating the public on the role of our members in local government, slaughterhouses and auditing of cutting plants;
9) Working with the devolved administrations, UK parliament and international organisations to highlight the importance of state-employed, independent meat inspectors and official veterinarians.