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 […]

National pay bargaining for Wales / a Welsh National Joint Council

Conference notes that local government has been a devolved responsibility of the Welsh government since 1999, with local authority financial settlements determined by Welsh government rather than Westminster. Since that time we have witnessed an increasing divergence of approach towards local government between England and Wales, with regards to funding, council tax, approaches to outsourcing […]

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 […]

Stop and search of Black people

Conference notes that the subject of stop and search has been debated on many occasions, but nothing has changed. People of African heritage are six times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police in England and Wales under Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and 29 times as […]

Access to Immigration Advice and Representation

For Black members who are not fully settled in the UK or do not have British Citizenship, immigration is a major issue. Immigration rules come and go and change overnight (as our European migrant worker colleagues are finding out!). A change in a shortage occupation list; a new salary threshold; a new English test requirement […]

Recruiting and organising Black members in the fragmented workforce

It is important that Black workers and members are equipped for the challenges within the changing and evolving landscape of the UK today. Conference recognises that a high proportion of Black workers eligible to join UNISON work in the “fragmented workforce” where they experience low pay and poor working conditions. Conference believes that recruitment is […]

Mental Health Issues Affecting Young Black People

This National Black Members’ Conference notes that Black people are far more likely to be diagnosed with a serious mental illness and in Britain are 17 times more likely than white counterparts to be diagnosed with a psychotic illness. There is a problem of inequality when it comes to mental health. With ongoing austerity, poverty, […]

Immigration and the effects of the EU Referendum and the Brexit Vote

The EU Referendum on 23 June and the decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union sent shock waves through communities with the immigration debate becoming ever more toxic. The campaign itself resulted in unacceptable language and propaganda being used about immigration generating fear, division and a ‘them and us’ rhetoric. Since […]

Discrimination in the NHS

The NHS employs 1.4 million people, many of these staff are Black, they work as brain surgeons, researchers, nurses, CQC inspectors, care workers to name a few. The NHS that relies on Black staff to function also discriminates against Black people in terms of opportunity, recruitment, promotion, bullying, victimisation (particularly if they whistle blow) and […]