Education Cuts in Northern Ireland

Conference is aware of the escalating levels of cuts in education in Northern Ireland. UNISON members are facing the severe impact of an imposed budget by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland . More than 70 million pounds has been slashed from immediate spending. This follows on from a previous demand that £200 million […]

Hybrid and remote working for LGBT+ workers in WET

Conference notes that since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a marked shift towards home or hybrid working in the WET sector. In pre-pandemic times, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus (LGBT+) workers faced challenges in the workplace, including discrimination, harassment and a lack of inclusivity. While we note that there are advantages to agreed […]

LGBT+ workers in field-based roles

Conference notes that there is a lack of diversity among field-based operational roles within the WET industries. This is a real cause for concern as it hinders the creation of an inclusive and welcoming work environment in WET industries. Field-based operational roles within WET are mostly roles that involve lone working, for example monitoring and […]

Work-life balance, mental health and the Right to Disconnect

Conference notes the significant changes to working patterns and practices that have happened since the pandemic, including a large rise in remote and hybrid working, including in the Water, Environment and Transport (WET) sector employers. Conference believes greater flexibility should be welcomed where this works for staff – for example, some disabled workers may find […]

The Importance of Women Health and Safety Representatives

UNISON has approximately 5,000 Health and Safety representatives across the union working hard to defend members’ health and safety at work. Over the past few years health and safety has emerged again as critical for protecting members’ rights at work, especially in the Water, Environment and Transport (WET) service group. However, the gender balance of […]

Mental Health Awareness Training

Conference notes with concern the evidence that the last few years have shown there to be an increasing deterioration in good mental health of workers across public services and including in Water, Environment and Transport (WET) workplaces. This impact was significantly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw people cut off from family, friends, and […]

Securing the legacy of the year of disabled workers in WET workplaces

Conference notes the success of UNISON’s Year of Disabled Workers 2022. With the year now over, we have seen renewed focus on the experience of disabled members in our union, in the workplace and in society, including those in the WET service group. We used the year to highlight the important contribution our disabled members […]

Sewage and Wastewater Discharges into Rivers by Water Companies

More than ever, water quality is at the forefront of public consciousness. Due to Ofwat’s regulatory approach, which prioritises value for money for the consumer, and the companies adopting risk-based strategies to deliver maximum profits for their owners, little money is spent on maintaining infrastructure. This issue has been brought to light with the increased […]

Funding of Local Bus Services

Conference notes the Government scheme to cap bus fares at £2 in England as part of its support scheme during the cost-of-living crisis. UNISON recognises this is a temporary measure and feels the incentive does not go far enough to address the challenges working people face. Conference calls on the government for more funding for […]

Environment Agency Workers Deserve A Decent Pay Rise in Line with Inflation

2022/2023 was a year of industrial dispute across the Public Sector, partly to address the indecent pay increases. UNISON Members in the Environment Agency are not immune to this – EA members took strike action over pay for the first time, which members voted overwhelmingly for in November 2022. Since 2010 salaries in the Environment […]

Using school forums as an organising tool

Conference notes that the continued fragmentation of the school system, together with the geographical spread of schools, provides organising challenges for UNISON. The use of school forums to bring together activists from across schools in branches is well established as best practice to develop collective responses to the common issues we face. The ability to […]

Promoting the Anti Racism Charter in the public sector

With the de-funding of public sector bodies, from a government which has little interest in the welfare needs of its citizens. It is no surprise that amongst those facing the most targeted hostile barriers are our Black members. The Tory anti-immigrant agenda has fuelled increased hatred and attacks on our Black communities across the country. […]

Menopause awareness and support in local government

Conference notes that as a union of one million women, women will always be at the heart of UNISON. Conference also notes that UNISON has proudly campaigned for many years to remove what many campaigners and activists call the last great workplace taboo. Conference further notes that the demography of UNISONs membership in social care […]

Council provided care

Conference notes the campaigns for a National Care Service in each of the 4 nations and UNISON’s support, in principle, for such a proposal. Local government in Scotland, Wales and England and that any proposals for a National Care Service should respect and build upon this. Conference notes that social care is essentially a community-based […]

Local government funding – a national crisis

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) have published as part of their “Save Our Services” bulletins a projected funding gap of £1billion for 2023/24. Scottish local government branches are already engaged in discussions with employers about cuts to jobs, cuts to terms and conditions and we note that some councils looking at wholesale restructuring […]