LGBT+ workers in field-based roles

Conference notes that there is a lack of diversity among field-based operational roles within the WET industries. This is a real cause for concern as it hinders the creation of an inclusive and welcoming work environment in WET industries. Field-based operational roles within WET are mostly roles that involve lone working, for example monitoring and […]

Work-life balance, mental health and the Right to Disconnect

Conference notes the significant changes to working patterns and practices that have happened since the pandemic, including a large rise in remote and hybrid working, including in the Water, Environment and Transport (WET) sector employers. Conference believes greater flexibility should be welcomed where this works for staff – for example, some disabled workers may find […]

The Importance of Women Health and Safety Representatives

UNISON has approximately 5,000 Health and Safety representatives across the union working hard to defend members’ health and safety at work. Over the past few years health and safety has emerged again as critical for protecting members’ rights at work, especially in the Water, Environment and Transport (WET) service group. However, the gender balance of […]

Hybrid and remote working for LGBT+ workers in WET

Conference notes that since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a marked shift towards home or hybrid working in the WET sector. In pre-pandemic times, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus (LGBT+) workers faced challenges in the workplace, including discrimination, harassment and a lack of inclusivity. While we note that there are advantages to agreed […]

Mental Health Awareness Training

Conference notes with concern the evidence that the last few years have shown there to be an increasing deterioration in good mental health of workers across public services and including in Water, Environment and Transport (WET) workplaces. This impact was significantly exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw people cut off from family, friends, and […]

Securing the legacy of the year of disabled workers in WET workplaces

Conference notes the success of UNISON’s Year of Disabled Workers 2022. With the year now over, we have seen renewed focus on the experience of disabled members in our union, in the workplace and in society, including those in the WET service group. We used the year to highlight the important contribution our disabled members […]

Sewage and Wastewater Discharges into Rivers by Water Companies

More than ever, water quality is at the forefront of public consciousness. Due to Ofwat’s regulatory approach, which prioritises value for money for the consumer, and the companies adopting risk-based strategies to deliver maximum profits for their owners, little money is spent on maintaining infrastructure. This issue has been brought to light with the increased […]

Funding of Local Bus Services

Conference notes the Government scheme to cap bus fares at £2 in England as part of its support scheme during the cost-of-living crisis. UNISON recognises this is a temporary measure and feels the incentive does not go far enough to address the challenges working people face. Conference calls on the government for more funding for […]

Environment Agency Workers Deserve A Decent Pay Rise in Line with Inflation

2022/2023 was a year of industrial dispute across the Public Sector, partly to address the indecent pay increases. UNISON Members in the Environment Agency are not immune to this – EA members took strike action over pay for the first time, which members voted overwhelmingly for in November 2022. Since 2010 salaries in the Environment […]

Securing the Legacy of the Year of Black Workers in Water, Environment and Transport Service

This conference notes that whilst 2023 is the Year of Black Workers, and its focus of ‘Establishing Legacy to Generate Change’, this year in and of itself is not the change we seek, it is merely the opportunity to generate change. Black Workers up and down our society often find themselves in low-paid, insecure work, […]

The Fat Cats are Still Smiling

Conference is only too aware of the ongoing mismanagement of water companies’ finances. Water companies need to be more transparent with how their organisations are being financed. A number of large Water & Sewage Companies have been with the begging bowl to OFWAT, the Government’s Water Regulator, for help yet are still taking out millions […]

Time to Shine a light on Dark Practices.

Conference notes that due to ever increasing expectations on our members more and more work is done out of normal working hours and in some cases routine inspections on wastewater treatment works is becoming the norm in hours of darkness. Of particular concern to our members are those sites with inadequate lighting, security or access […]

Supporting our Disabled Members During Sickness Absence Meetings.

Conference is only too aware that having trained reps to support and guide our members during sickness meetings is essential in obtaining a good outcome. Conference will further acknowledge that supporting our disabled members requires a further detailed knowledge of the Equality act 2010. Some managers in the water industry may be competent with day-to-day […]

The cost living crisis on Ethnic Minority

The cost of living crisis on Ethnic Minority The cost of living crisis in the UK is disproportionality impacting on ethnic minority women workers, many of whom are part time workers. Black employees could see the hardest hit to their wage as inflation rates in the UK continue to surge. A report by the Womens […]

Women in work- The Motherhood penalty

Conference, the company, PwC, who are leaders in economic analysis in public and private sectors, recently highlighted in their Women in work index ( a fact that we already know – that Women raising children pay a ‘motherhood penalty’ in underemployment, slower career progression, and lower lifetime earnings. The increased burden of unpaid childcare, borne […]