Pay for Members Employed by Private Contractors Delivering Local Government Services.

Conference notes with concern that cuts to local authority budgets and the costs of Covid are impacting disproportionately on the salaries of our members in employed by private contractors who deliver local government outsourced services – including social care, school meals and refuse collection. Many employers delivering outsourced services are engaging in a race to […]

Promote UNISON as the Union for Social Work

Social work teams across the country provide a vital service to our communities by supporting those who are often society’s most vulnerable – including children, older adults, and individuals with physical or learning disabilities. Social work teams have continued to provide this care during the pandemic, often by making difficult decisions and quickly adapting to […]

Mandatory Vaccinations

Conference welcomes the UK government’s U-turn on mandatory vaccinations, and condemns the government for creating the problem in the first place. Conference welcomes UNISON’s role in contributing to the government’s change in policy. Conference opposes any further push to extend mandatory vaccination into social care services in England. UNISON is strongly supportive of the vaccination […]

School Support Staff

Conference notes that school support staff have worked tirelessly in schools throughout the pandemic to support pupils, parents, and their communities – from ensuring free school meals provision, to deep cleaning schools, to covering classes when teachers were isolating. Conference believes they are the unsung heroes who rarely get the recognition they deserve by the […]

Covid and Long Covid

Conference notes that UNISON members in councils, schools and across local government have been on the front line of the fight against Covid and have been instrumental in ensuring that vital public services could continue during the pandemic. This has meant they have been more exposed than most to the physical and mental impacts of […]

New Ways of Working in Local Government

Conference recognises that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, UNISON members in local government have seen a dramatic change in how and where they work. According to the Office for National Statistics, in the UK 36% of the employed population did some work at home in 2020. UNISON’s 2020 equalities survey found that 40% […]

Funding Cuts and Ethnicity Pay Gap in Local Government

Conference, funding cuts and the government’s long-delayed plans to address social inequalities is one of the major causes of in-work poverty experienced by Black Workers and the cause of severe inter-generational inequality in Black communities. Recent funding increases have not undone £15bn of cuts in central government grants to local authorities between 2010 and 2020, […]

Violence Against Disabled Women and Domestic Abuse

Conference notes recent advice from the Metropolitan Police force that women should “run away” if they feel unsafe in the presence of a lone police officer in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard in March 2020. Not only is this advice discriminatory towards disabled women, but it also fails to address the root […]

Mentoring and Developing Grassroots Women of Unison

Unison is committed to proportionality for women but the reality is that in many branches this does not happen. By the time women have done their jobs, looked after the children and their homes, checked on their elderly parents and helped with homework, there is little time to sit and map out what they need […]

Menopause and Black women

Research suggests that there may be some variations for Black women in the average age at which the menopause takes place between women of different ethnic backgrounds. Some studies suggest that symptoms may be more prevalent and more severe for Black women, although research is not yet clear on the reasons for this. Black women […]


Our Women Members are our greatest asset Conference welcomes the election of Christina McAnea as the first woman General Secretary of a major trade union. Representing more than a million women working across the range of public services, UNISON with its commitment to lay democracy and proportionality and fair representation enshrined within our rule book […]

Proportionality within UNISON

UNISON rules and guidance provides for the principles of proportionality and fair representation to be observed in UNISON elections and delegations. The UNISON rule book defines proportionality as the representation of women and men in fair proportion to the relevant number of female and male members comprising the electorate (2.14.2) The UNISON rule book defines […]

Sexual harassment – more work to do

Conference welcomes the announcement by the UK government in July 2021 that it will introduce a new duty on employers to protect all their staff from sexual harassment at work and protections for workers harassed by clients or customers as well as colleagues. This announcement came as part of the government’s published response to the […]