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 […]

Force Funding

Conference notes that on the 15th July 2015 the Home Office began a consultation process on proposals to reform the police funding formula. This consultation ended on the 15th Sept 2015. The proposals within the consultation are to reform the existing funding system for police forces in England and Wales with five identified guiding principles; […]

Computer Says No

In June 2013 Accenture PLC a multi national management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company were awarded the i6 project, which will see a single system operate across Scotland, described by Police Scotland as the “largest and most significant transformational change ever undertaken by the service”, replacing 135 existing IT and paper-based systems and providing […]

Reforming the Powers of Police Staff and Volunteers

Conference notes that the government’s consultation paper on ‘Reforming the Powers of Police Staff and Volunteers’ published on 9 September 2015 contains both opportunities and threats for the police service and police staff. Key proposals in the consultation paper include: • Creating a list of ‘core’ police powers – including arrest and stop and search […]

PCSOs an endangered workforce

PCSOs an endangered workforce Newspapers are alight with reports of Police Forces either considering or deleting PCSO posts. The most recent example being Nottinghamshire Police’s announcement on 11th September 2015, that they are reducing their PCSO establishment by 70. On the 9th September 2015, the Metropolitan Police announced that they are considering axing 1,017 PCSO […]

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 […]

Police Staff as Victims of Crime

We are increasingly concerned at the way that Police Staff are sometimes treated when they are victims of crime. The service they receive from the police should be no better or worse than any other member of the public, but we are aware of cases where this does not happen. Already staff are disadvantaged because […]

Modernisation Revisited

The last Labour Government’s workforce modernisation agenda had a proven positive impact on policing in the UK, particularly with regard to community involvement. However since 2010 the disproportionate cuts to the police and justice budget have had a severe impact on UNISON members and numbers of police staff, including PCSOs have dropped to dangerous levels. […]

Workplace Mental Health Issues in Police and Justice Services

Official statistics produced by mental health charities advise us that one in four people will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives. Despite the success of many charities raising public awareness and drawing employers and ACAS’ attention to the mental wellbeing of staff there is still considerable stigma associated with mental health […]