General Election

“This Energy conference notes that following the closing date for motion submissions a general election was called for the 8th June. Subsequently political parties have during the hustings and manifesto launches made numerous comments about the failings in the energy market and the need to directly intervene to protect consumers or bring elements of the […]

Under-Representation of Bus Sector

This Conference notes: a. The decline in UNISON membership in the Bus Sector. b. The difficulty in recruiting activists and forming viable Bus Sector branches. c. That to address the above, UNISON has increasingly moved members who work for bus operators into larger employer-led branches. d. That these decisions are determined locally based on the […]

Wheelchair Access on Buses

Conference notes the Supreme Court ruling in January 2017 on the FirstGroup V Pauley case, and the issue raised under the Equality Act 2010 for “reasonable adjustment” and whether a bus companies policy or “provision criterion or practice” (PCP) was been met in relation to wheelchair users. In particular, whether a bus driver should compel […]

Protecting National Collective Bargaining through the PTF

Conference notes that in recent months the employers at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have made clear their intention to serve notice to withdraw from the Passenger Transport Forum (PTF). This is a consultative body for the Combined Authorities and PTE’s and also the […]

Workplace domestic abuse policies

Conference notes that following on from a women’s conference decision in 1998, a model domestic abuse workplace policy and accompanying guidance were produced. It is the intention that all UNISON workplaces have such a policy in existence, and many have been negotiated in the public sector. However, they are still not commonplace in the private […]

Supporting our Supporters

As the Energy Industry has changed from the “glory’’ days of privatisation to the very complicated structures we now have to organise within so too has the range of problems affecting our members and representatives. The Energy Sector has faced major changes including the splitting off of the distribution businesses, company mergers, business diversification, the […]

Call Centre Charter – how far have we come?

Conference notes the increasing numbers of our water, environment and transport members working in call centres. Call centres can leave workers chained to their workstations under extreme pressure to provide faster responses to more and more callers. Conference welcomes UNISON’s Call Centre Charter, launched in 2012, to seek to establish a decency agenda for these […]

Call Centre Charter – how far have we come?

Conference notes the increasing numbers of our energy members working in call centres. Call centres can leave workers chained to their workstations under extreme pressure to provide faster responses to more and more callers. Conference welcomes UNISON’s Call Centre Charter, launched in 2012, to seek to establish a decency agenda for these members, allowing them […]

Competition in the Water Industry

Over the last thirty years, the regulated market in water supply has enabled steady investment, predictable price increases enabling water customers to budget, steady improvements in water quality and low levels of customer complaint and dissatisfaction. Now, though, Ministers have expressed a wish to introduce competition for households, following the introduction of competition for commercial […]

Tackling Health and Safety from the Inside

This conference notes the ever increasing need for safety improvements in the WET sector and especially in the light of the ever decreasing enforcement from HSE and government cuts. Yorkshire Water Branch would like the sector to adopt the approach being taking at Kelda where we have two Health and safety reps seconded into the […]

Equality in WET Companies – National Equality Standard

Trade unions and employers are dealing with an increasingly diverse workforce. There are higher proportions of women and people from black and minority ethnic communities in the workforce than ever before. The population is aging, with many people intending to stay in work for longer and many trying to juggle work with caring responsibilities. There […]

Maintaining environmental protections following the UK’s departure from the European Union

This conference notes that a great deal of current UK environmental law has been derived from EU legislation over several decades, which in turn has ensured that the WET sector is good for the environment. Yorkshire Water branch would like the WET sector to support the adoption of ‘the Norwegian model’ by our government, so […]

Bus services in crisis

Conference is concerned at the continued depletion of our bus services and welcomes UNISON’s support for the Campaign for Better Transport and applauds the support from the General Political Fund for research into defending and improving our bus services. Conference notes that although buses are the most flexible form of public transport, they receive far […]

Activist Learning and Development within Energy

Many lay activists have benefited over the years from specific utility linked training courses supported by UNISON’s learning and Organising team. The most well known is the Negotiating Skills course for workers in a Utility setting. We have also had the opportunity in the past two years to do a specific pay bargaining course for […]

Race Inequality in the Workplace

Conference notes that despite efforts to bring further equality into society, evidence shows that Black workers are still being held back in the job market. The amount of Black members holding senior posts in the Water, Environment and Transport (WET) employers still remains low, unemployment amongst Black people remains high – particularly amongst young Black […]