Open University closed to disabled students

The Open University’s (OU) is a flexible system of learning that supports the largest disabled student community in the UK. Last year almost 20,000 disabled students studied at the OU and a large number were UNISON’s Disabled Members. Conference is concerned the planned closure of Regional Centres announced on 15 September may mean the OU […]

Attacks on access to justice is an attack on people with disabilities

Conference will note that we are now over 5 months into this Conservative Government and the wellbeing of our disabled members and their families is under constant threat from draconian legislation on welfare, social care cuts by local authority, changes to the benefits system and proposed changes to human rights legislation and a referendum to […]

Disabled Labour

Conference will note the Labour election defeat in May 2015 and the return of a Tory Government. Conference will further note the lack of any policies likely to benefit people with disabilities in the Tory party manifesto or Queens Speech. Moreover, a further round of welfare cuts and reduction of services is proposed. Conference will […]

New Ways of Working and Reasonable Adjustments

Conference notes that government cuts mean employers are looking for new ways of working to save money without cutting jobs. Often referred to as Lean or Agile Working, these methods were developed by Toyota and are predominantly used in manufacturing industries. If implemented correctly they can bring financial savings and improve working conditions. While we […]

Disabled members delivering public services in times of austerity

Conference condemns the continued attacks on the funding of public services. Austerity cuts are providing an environment for employers to continue to cut/reduce vital services, outsource services, or develop shared services with other public bodies and private organisations. The cuts are being used as a reason by employers to increase the use volunteers, have continual […]

Privatisation/Outsourcing and the Equality Duty

Conference is aware this Government is eroding the public sector by privatisation and outsourcing. The Post Office; East Coast Mainline; a third of recent NHS contracts; and more recently, over half of the Probation Service, all moving into private hands, not only will this lead to poorer service provision, it will also have a negative […]

Coming Out to get Facility Time

Conference will note that participation in self organisation is integral to the core work and values of UNISON. Yet activists are increasingly reporting that employers are cutting back on facility time and questioning the purpose of the meeting. Activists are feeling pressurised into disclosing their disability, sexual orientation or gender identity when they may have […]

Additional impact of learning difficulties on Mental Health

Conference 2014 acknowledged the particular mental health concerns for disabled LGBT people and agreed an action plan to start to address this. Conferences notes the additional impact that being diagnosed with a learning difficulty or disability can have upon our mental health. People who are not aware of their specific learning difficulty or disability or […]

Concessionary travel passes.

Conference notes the benefits that access to public transport, such as buses, trains and coaches, can bring to many disabled people. Concessionary Passes enable this access but the conditions applicable vary across different nations of the United Kingdom. Also currently, passes issued in one country cannot be used in another. Conference believes that there would […]

The fight for fair sickness absence procedures and ‘Disability Leave’

This Conference notes with concern the election of a ‘Tory’ Government with a majority in Parliament and believes that this will signal a worsening of the rights and the likely employability of disabled people. The Conservatives have indicated their contempt for Industrial Tribunals and are not supportive of any restrictions on employers in their dealings […]

Guidance on rights for disabled workers

This Conference believes that many disabled workers are unaware of their rights as disabled employees. This Conference also believes that without awareness of rights, such rights cannot be pursued, and become endangered through lack of use. This Conference further believes that (i) it is important that information about disabled workers rights be available in a […]

Improving working conditions for Care workers

There is a high proportion of Black workers in the care and support sector. Black workers disproportionately face job losses, downgrading and cuts in hours. In addition to this, care workers working with individuals with learning difficulties and dementia are at a higher risk of suffering from violence and abuse at work. Some of whom […]

Equality rights and national collective agreements

Conference is concerned at the continuing pressure to move away from nationally agreed terms and conditions amongst local government employers, including those of our own National Joint Council (NJC). Conference notes that it was our union’s national collective bargaining that established many equality protections long before they were enshrined in law. For example, our predecessor […]

Local government pay – an equality issue

Conference notes with concern that local government pay remains the lowest in the public sector, and that most local government workers are also paid substantially less than their equivalents in the private sector. The real value of average UK pay packets has fallen by 12% since 2010, and for most local government workers the fall […]

Retention of Green Book Terms and Conditions

Conference reaffirms its view that sector-wide collective bargaining – not Regional or local – is best placed to deliver decent pay and conditions, and equality. It is also the best way to ensure that local government employment reflects our vision for universal and equal public services and deals with the issues arising out of cuts, […]