Exploit modern communication systems

During the period of the pandemic many of us have grown used to attending meetings, talks and conferences via the internet using such intermediaries as Zoom. Whilst not matching the intimacy and desirability of a head-to-head meeting, they have allowed active if limited participation to continue. For some retired members the ageing process in its […]

E-scooters and Older People

Conference is concerned over the increasing use of electric powered motorised 2-wheeled scooters (e-scooters) on roads and pavements throughout the United Kingdom. Conference notes that, although versions of e-scooters first appeared on London streets as long ago as 1916, It is only recently that steps are being taken to have them formally classified as motor […]

Surprise, surprise! You will receive 25 whole pence age allowance each week when you reach your 80th birthday!

This age addition increase was introduced in September 1971 by Sir Keith Joseph, a Conservative MP. He said it was to recognise ‘albeit in a small way the special claims of very elderly people who need help rather more than others. As they grow old their possessions wear out and they need help for necessary […]


Conference notes that the Government announced earlier this year that there had been an underpayment of up to £3 billion in total of pensions for some who reached SPA before April 2016 and fall into certain categories. These sums affect thousands of women and some men who were underpaid their state pensions and not all […]

Access to GP services

This conference notes with concern the findings of the survey carried out in December 2020 by the Birmingham UNISON Retired Members Section, that during the pandemic it has been increasingly difficult to access GP services. As the survey has indicated, there is a major problem with the more vulnerable elderly section of society – where […]

Gender Pension Gap

Conference notes that in 2018/19, the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) gender pension gap – the percentage difference in average gross pension income of women pensioners compared to men – stood at 40.3%. Conference also notes this was the second year running the gap had widened. An earlier trend of gradually diminishing pension inequality appears to have […]

Widowers’ Pensions

Conference notes that – 1)Public service pension schemes pay pensions to widows of male scheme members in respect of contributions since 1972; 2)As a result of a Supreme Court decision in 2017, scheme members’ surviving same – sex spouses and civil partners, irrespective of gender, are now treated the same as widows; but 3)Widowers of […]

LGBT+ workers health and wellbeing

Conference welcomes the increased recognition that mental health is a serious workplace issue for staff working in the Water, Environment and Transport sectors. It also has a strong equalities dimension. Even without the impact of the pandemic, people vulnerable to discrimination face worse levels of mental ill health. In the wider community, around 1 in […]

NET Zero

This conference notes that the UK Government has previously announced an acceleration on the progress to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Previously, the Committee on Climate Change had looked at the possibility of reaching net zero earlier but concluded that this was not credible. They acknowledged it could be possible in the […]

Health, Safety and Wellbeing in a post-pandemic working environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many health, safety, and wellbeing issues for WET Service Group members. We ask that this Service Group Conference aims to secure a post-pandemic working environment that supports the needs of all our members, on a COVID secure basis, with employers meeting their full range of health and safety responsibilities […]

Homeworking as a reasonable adjustment in post-COVID WET workplaces

Conference notes that many disabled staff in WET workplaces have previously requested to work from home as a reasonable adjustment and been refused. However, COVID-19 has sparked a revolution in home working and as a union we need to build on the positives for disabled workers whilst also guarding against any detrimental impact. UNISON�s National […]

The impact of Covid-19 on Black workers in transport

�We�re all in this together� has become a rallying cry during the coronavirus pandemic. While it is true that COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, the magnitude and nature of the impact has been anything but universal. Evidence to date suggests that Black workers face much more economic and health insecurity from COVID-19 than […]

A sustainable future for Water, Environment and Transport workers � we need more women engineers

Conference is concerned that although some employers in the Water, Environment and Transport sector have worked hard to reduce their gender pay gap – notably Thames Water – reports for 2019 (reporting was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic) revealed others have mean average gaps which are significantly higher than the industry�s average of […]

Shift working health issues

This Conference is concerned about the health risks of UNISON members employed as shift workers in the Water industry and possibly other sectors covered by the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group. Regular shift working causes disturbed sleep patterns which in turn can affect concentration levels which can then cause potential Health and Safety issues […]

Dealing with noise on operational sites

2021 Water, Environment and Transport Service Group Conference notes that UNISON members employed in some sectors of our Service Group experience hearing difficulties during and post-employment caused through noise on operational sites particularly in Water. Pumping stations are particularly noisy but all areas of plant where noise exceeds permissible limits should (but often don�t) have […]