Saving the LGPS and good pension schemes for our members

Conference is concerned that good pension provision is continuing to decline. Defined benefit pension schemes that guarantee pensions based on final salary or career average are under threat. The main reason employers give is increasing costs and risk of further increases of providing the benefits and increased employer contributions. In the public sector (for example […]

Defending our libraries

Conference notes with concern the ongoing closures of libraries and worsening pay and conditions of remaining library staff. Data released last December by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) shows that spending on local libraries has fallen by £25 million and 478 libraries have closed across England, Scotland and Wales since 2010. […]

Organising in homecare

Conference notes that members working in homecare suffer some of the worst working conditions in any sector in the UK, with widespread abuse of zero-hour contracts, breaches of minimum wage legislation, and non-payment of the time spent travelling between domiciliary care visits. Conference recognises the work done by UNISON at all levels to highlight these […]

Apprentices

Conference notes that: 1) The apprenticeship levy comes in from April 2017 and all employers, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, will need to pay 0.5% of their pay-bill to invest in apprenticeships – almost all further education (FE) colleges will be paying the levy. The growth in apprenticeships over the coming […]

Bullying of Black workers in the workplace

Conference notes that many local authority employers have anti-bullying and harassment policies in place. However, there are too many times when Black workers in the local government employers have reported experiences of bullying in the workplace. This conference also notes historical evidence from the TUC has shown that Black workers are reluctant to use the […]

Apprenticeships and new employers/new models of public service delivery

This conference notes that a range of new employers and models of service delivery are emerging in local government e.g. combined authorities, local authority trading companies, public authority mutuals, ‘Devo Manc’ etc. This conference also notes that these changes have profound implications for the local government service group bargaining and organising agenda on staffing, pay, […]

Privatisation

Conference notes that outsourcing and privatisation constitute a failed economic model for local government services. It only serves to reduce our members’ pay, terms and conditions and maximise profits for contractors, consultants and shareholders. Conference also notes that services get worse following privatisation and outsourcing. Private companies have a legal duty to reward shareholders, so […]

The crisis in social care

Conference recognises that the social care system is in crisis. Council spending on social care fell by 9% in real terms between 2010 and 2015 due to huge funding cuts from central government. The number of pensioners receiving care from their local council fell by 26% over that period. The King’s Fund estimate that the […]

Schools Funding

This Conference notes: 1)The proposal included in the Comprehensive Spending Review to create a single national funding formula for schools in England; 2)That this could cut funding for schools in cities and metropolitan areas in particular by as much as 20%; 3)Support staff, who make up 1 in 3 of workers organised within the local […]

UNISON local government members supporting refugees

Conference is pleased to note that funding for refugee resettlement is to be increased. Whilst this targeted funding is welcome, it also raises concerns for staff working in local government who are already under extreme pressure from cuts in local government jobs and services, allied with increased demand from existing service users. Conference believes that […]

Bullying and Young Members

Conference recognises that the cuts in local government are adding to the already high levels of overwork. Staff are being asked to carry a heavier workload due to the reduction in staffing levels but continuing and sometimes increasing demands for services. In many councils the number of managers has been reduced with remaining managers expected […]

Local government members and the Housing Bill

Conference notes the proposed Housing and Planning Bill will have a devastating effect on existing and future social housing provision. The Bill proposes to: 1)Compel councils to sell off ‘high value’ homes on the open market when they become empty; 2)End lifetime secure tenancies, meaning the break up of stable and mixed communities; 3)Introduce means […]

Organising in Local Government

Conference recognises the huge challenges posed to UNISON’s ability to organise and recruit in local government in recent years. We have seen billions of pounds of funding cuts, which have led to the loss of more than half a million posts, with many UNISON members losing their jobs, and many more increasingly wary of being […]

Youth Services and Youth Workers

Conference notes that youth and community services have suffered massive cuts every year since 2010. UNISON’s 2014 ‘Damage’ report made clear the extent and impact of these cuts: hundreds of youth centres have closed and tens of thousands of youth service places for young people have been lost. Updated UNISON research is expected to show […]

Crisis in Social Work

Conference notes the vital role undertaken by social workers across the UK and applauds their continued ability to carry out excellent work in their communities despite the increased amount of pressure they are facing in their jobs. Social workers are having to cope with funding cuts to their services as caseload and referral levels continue […]