Recovery of Council Tax Arrears from the Elderly

Conference expresses its concern at the proposals recently suggested by Coventry city and no doubt under consideration by other councils, to take steps to reduce the current council tax arrears, especially with regard to the draconian proposals for dealing with debt involving the elderly. These proposals including increases in the taking of bankruptcy proceedings, forcing […]

Devolution

Conference welcomes the decisions taken by this year’s National Delegate Conference to address the impact of devolution to the nations of the United Kingdom on UNISON’s structures and decision-making processes. UNISON has been at the forefront of campaigning for devolution, recognising the opportunities that different political structures provide to influence policy makers for the benefit […]

Turner Commission Report

Conference notes that the first part of the Turner Commission Report on Pensions is published on Tuesday, 12 October. The report will not recommend specific policy solutions but provide a detailed analysis of the pensions crisis. Leaked information, which appeard in the national press on Sunday, 10 October, reveals that the Turner report has identified […]

Crisis in Pensions

Conference notes the publication of the First Report of the Pensions Commission on Tuesday, 12 October 2004. In particular, Conference notes that the Commission has identified three ways to alleviate the pensions crisis: a)People must save more (compulsory savings cannot be ruled out); b)People must work longer; c)People must pay more (tax and/or contributions). Conference […]

Council Tax Relief

Whilst appreciating the action taken by the government for those national insurance retired pensioners over the age of 70, by the one off payment of £100 to alleviate the effects of the rising council tax, Conference notes with regret that the government is still practising ageism by rewarding the £100 council tax relief only to […]

Pensioners’ Manifesto

Conference welcomes the production of the pensioners’ manifesto by the National Pensioners’ Convention. The final version of the manifesto will include a summary of the main priorities as well as a costing of how the policies can be funded. This is a truly historic initiative to put forward a coherent set of pensioners’ demands at […]

Health Inequalities and Disabled Black people

Conference is concerned about inequality inequalities in health service provision for disabled black people. We welcome proposed changes to the Disability Discrimination Act to provide protection from discrimination to people diagnosed with cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis. However we are concerned that inadequate health service provision for disabled black people could result in disadvantage to […]

Accessible Health Screening

Conference is aware of the post code lottery existing throughout the NHS. John Reid pledged to end such practices following the report into NHS funding and service provisions in his speech in parliament in July 2004. Whilst Conference applauds the promises made to develop a fairer and equal distribution of health provision, we remain concerned […]

Commission for Equality and Human Rights

In June 2004 the government was consulting on a white paper Fairness for All on the setting up of a commission for equality and human rights. This commission will replace existing equality bodies including theDisability Rights Commission. Conference notes that equality legislation is different for different groups (such as race, gender, disability, sexuality). In particular […]

Monitoring of Attendance of Disabled Delegates to National Delegate Conference

UNISON is committed to achieving proportionality and fair representation at conferences and throughout its structures. Currently branches entitled to send larger delegations are obliged to maintain reserved seats for low paid members, young members and other under-represented groups. There are processes in place to ensure that this is monitored for women and black members. This […]

The Forthcoming Political Fund Ballot and Funding New Labour

By March 2005 UNISON has to legally ballot the whole membership on whether they wish to have a political fund or not. This fund, with its unique arrangement of two sections, affiliated and general, enables the union to donate monies to political parties and to fund campaigns deemed to be political. Conference believes that it […]

Regional Cost of Living Weightings

Conference recognises the high cost of living in London and the surrounding area. Conference notes: 1)according to the Land Registry the average price of a home in the south east region was £205,109 by the end of 2003, and the average price of a terraced house was £157,659. In Oxford the average home was £245,732 […]

Participation of Visitors in Workshops

Visitors to the Conference are seated separately and are unable to vote, but they learn a lot about procedures which will be helpful in future if they become delegates. There does not seem however to be any reason why they should not attend the workshops which may also help them in the future and they […]

Small Print Font Size

Important information is frequently presented in ways difficult to read as the type size may be too small and there may be insufficient colour contrast between the print and the paper. The computer seems to have made this problem more common. Examples can be found in newspapers, cooking instructions, information to do with financial matters […]

Qualifying Dates for Additional Payments

Conference expresses its concern that additional payments for items such as the winter fuel allowance are subject to the recipient attaining the specified age by a certain date. It feels that this means a number of pensioners do not become entitled to the payment until the following year. Conference therefore calls upon the National Retired […]