Root and Branch

With a static or decreasing number of members in our branches we need to review how we organise within the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group (WET). As moves are made to change our branches we need to find a structure that suits us before one is imposed. There seems to be a coordinated effort […]

Tackling Stress in Energy Workplaces

Conference welcomes the work done over many years by UNISON negotiators and reps in energy to highlight and tackle workplace stress. Conference is concerned that the current climate, with persistent threat to jobs, is placing particular stresses on energy members. There is micro-management, ever more pressure to meet targets, with fewer staff expected to get […]

Celebrating Equality in Energy Workplaces

Conference notes that workplace equality issues are often portrayed as difficult to handle, a minority interest and all about discrimination and prejudice. Conference believes that equality is not a problem but rather is something to celebrate in our energy workplaces. By celebrating equality and celebrating diversity we can help end the invisibility, isolation and marginalisation […]

Storms of Protest

As 2013 drew to an end, many homes and businesses in the United Kingdom were affected by severe weather disruptions on unprecedented scales. Many domestic residences were without power at the most inconvenient time of the year with Christmas fast approaching and further severe weather warnings imminent. Most distribution network organisations were able to plan […]

Pension Fund Trustees

Conference notes: a) Many funded pension schemes include provision for member nominated trustees. b) The financial crisis has highlighted the need for appropriate oversight and responsible management of workers capital. c) Proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme are likely to extend the rights of workers to be represented on pensions committees; d) In […]

Review of Organisation and Branch Structure in the Environment Agency

Conference notes that: a) The existing branch structure within the Environment Agency was established at the time that the Environment Agency was created and was based largely on water company boundaries. b) The structure of the Environment Agency has changed significantly since this time and concern has been expressed that certain bargaining groups are no […]

Smoking in Customer’s Premises

This Water, Environment and Transport Conference 2014 welcomes legislation banning smoking in workplaces etc. One area that wasn’t addressed however and continues to give our members health and safety concerns is visiting customer’s residential properties whereby the occupiers’ smoke. We call upon the Water, Environment and Transport Executive to produce appropriate guidance which will include […]

Provision of Flu Jabs

Conference 2014 notes that some but not all employers in the water industry currently provide free flu jabs for their employees/our members. UNISON believes that this “best practice” should be adopted by all employers within our service group and calls upon the WET Executive in conjunction with Sector Committees to devise a negotiating guide on […]

How We Want To Work – A Charter for the NHS Workforce

Conference recognises that in the run-up to the general election, all political parties will be setting out their policies on the NHS including the structures in the four countries and the ideological differences behind them; the different approaches to integration with social care, and outcomes for patients and the way that serious complaints are handled. […]

Privatisation, Franchising and Procurement

Conference notes the alarming expansion of privatisation within the English NHS. For example, the NHS Support Federation found that the private sector had won 21 of the first 25 NHS contracts awarded since April 2013, and it has been estimated that £5bn of NHS work is now up for grabs. Since the abolition of the […]

Protecting and Promoting Equality in NHS Pay and Conditions

Both the UK government and all devolved governments in the UK have a statutory duty to promote equality of opportunity. Most recently the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) concluded that the UK Government had failed to take steps to ensure that there was even application of equality requirements. Agenda for […]

Supporting Outsourced Members

Conference notes the continuing trend for NHS Trusts to outsource services such as Learning Disability Services, to companies such as Thera, Creative Support, and others. Increasingly members who are transferred to such organisations under TUPE, have seen serious attacks on terms and conditions. In some cases, the transferred staff, on protected NHS terms and conditions, […]

Registration for Healthcare Assistants

HCAs feel undervalued and under the spotlight. HCAs perform one of the most important caring roles; they provide the frontline fundamentals of care, including bathing, helping vulnerable people to eat and go to the bathroom with dignity. Statistics show that HCAs and other support worker roles deliver up to 60% of direct patient care and […]

Be Safe Training

We congratulate UNISON for the work it has done after the publication of the Francis Public Inquiry into care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. It is essential that we continue to prioritise the Be Safe training. We are encouraged that a small number of branches have volunteered to act as early implementer sites to […]

Safe and Achievable Staffing Levels

In light of the Francis, Keogh and Berwick reports, this Conference calls upon the Health Service Group Executive to work with regions, utilising ‘The Safety in Numbers Campaign’, to campaign for mandatory safe staffing levels. The campaign should involve actively lobbying of UK and devolved Governments to instruct Health Boards to ensure that safe-achievable staffing […]