Bargaining for good Mental Health policies in Community workplaces

Conference notes that our workplaces are changing, with members in the community and voluntary sector facing increased workloads due to a combination of slashed local authority funding, project based voluntary sector commissioning that does not cover overheads, and increased commercialisation and a target driven culture in housing associations. These pressures have made the importance of […]

Making Community workplaces safe and accessible

Conference notes that the legal framework that is supposed to ensure reasonable access for disabled workers comprises the Equality Act 2010 and building regulations. The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1993 also give workers the right to a safe and healthy workplace. However despite this legal underpinning, conference is aware that some disabled workers […]

Housing Association Mergers

We continue to see a number of housing associations merge across regions and nationally. These range from large scale mergers such as the creation of Clarion Housing Group (125,000 homes) to the medium/smaller scale such as WM Housing (30,000 homes). These mergers present a range of challenges to us in the community sector, such as […]

Hidden Disabilities

In the Community & Voluntary Sector which includes care provision, charities, not for profit organisations and housing associations – long term health conditions which incorporate hidden disabilities is a subject that comes up regularly in the workplace. Community Sector staff who are not aware that they meet the definition of Disability in the Equality Act […]

Inclusive workplace policies in the Community Sector

Conference celebrates UNISON’s work over the past 25 years to promote women’s equality and participation and to tackle sexism and sex discrimination at work, in our union and across society. Like other service groups, the community service group has a majority of women members and our rules and practices to encourage women’s participation are vital […]

Family Friendly Policies in the Community & Voluntary Sector

In the Community & Voluntary Sector which includes care provision, charities, not for profit organisations and housing associations, employers must ensure provision of family-friendly policies are in place when trying to recruit and maintain staff levels of experienced and valued staff. The UK’s long hours working culture damages family life and parents are voting with […]

Women’s Refuges and Universal Credit Changes

Conference congratulates campaigners, including UNISON’s National Women’s Self-Organised Group, on their success in preventing changes to the welfare system which would have caused the closure of more women’s refuges. Proposed government changes resulting from Universal Credit could have meant women fleeing abusive partners not being able to pay for accommodation using housing benefit. This is […]

Organising around Health & Safety

Conference notes with concern that across UNISON the number of accredited Health & Safety (H&S) representatives continues to decrease. This is of particular concern to the Community Service Group where, out of a collective membership of almost 75,000 members, less than 200 across all our nations/regions are accredited Health & Safety Representatives. Conference further notes […]

Social Care Green Paper

UNISON Community Conference believes any plan to improve the dire state of social care in the UK must have the fair treatment of care workers at its core. Many carers work for third sector organisations, making this a key issue for the Community Service Group. The government has said that the proposals in the forthcoming […]

ADHD in the Workplace

Conference notes that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder and in fact, one of the most well-researched neurological disorders. It also can be said to be one of the most misunderstood diagnosis. Having ADHD affects every aspect of the individual’s life. ADHD comes in three forms – Inattentive, Impulsive, Hyperactive (or a […]

Negotiating and Bargaining for Disabled Workers Rights

Conference notes that the Equality Act 2010 gives disabled workers the right to reasonable adjustments and the right not to be discriminated against. However these rights are often only made real when UNISON disabled members and UNISON stewards raise these issues with employers through their local representation and bargaining. For example, the Equality Act Code […]

Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

Conference notes that although the UK government formally recognised British Sign Language (BSL) as a language in its own right in 2003, this did not give full legal status to BSL. Scotland is the only country in the UK to give BSL full legal status and to agree to promote its use. BSL still does […]

Including Non Binary Disabled People in our Self Organised Group

Conference notes that not all UNISON disabled members define themselves as either male or female. A growing number of our members instead define themselves as non-binary. For UNISON disabled members who identify as non-binary, the existing structures and practices within the union may not acknowledge their identity and may create a feeling of exclusion from […]

The Welfare State: A Hostile Environment for Black Disabled People

Conference notes this government’s official policy of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for non-EU migrants who are predominantly Black. This attempt to make life unbearable for undocumented migrants manifests itself in a growing network of immigration controls across society, including immigration checks to access public services, welfare benefits, healthcare and housing. The Windrush scandal has demonstrated […]

Black Disabled Workers and the Disciplinary Process

Conference notes that Black Disabled workers are disproportionately targeted when it comes to disciplinary processes, which is often linked to racism and discrimination as well as a lack of understanding and support for the barriers faced by disabled people, including those with non-visible/non-apparent disabilities. Black disabled people are also over-represented when it comes to capability […]