Cuts to Access to Learning Fund (Student Opportunity Fund)

Conference notes with alarm the Government’s revelation in January 2014 that it was seeking to cut £200m from the Student Opportunity Fund. Run by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The Student Opportunity Fund is open to undergraduates and taught postgraduates and provides non-repayable grants of between £100 and £1,000 for disadvantaged students. […]

University Governance

Conference notes the increasing concentration of power in the hands of a few appointed executives on bodies such as pre 92 University Court (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, Kings etc.) and Post 92 Board of Governors (e.g. Greenwich, Hertfordshire, Sunderland etc.). The main focus of these bodies is on commercial interests (potentially at the expense of educational […]

Proportionality

It is over 20 years since UNISON was formed and proportionality and fair representation were enshrined in the new Rule Book for the new union. After 20 years, the question must be asked – how well have we done on achieving proportionality and fair representation? Conference acknowledges the good work to date on developing mechanisms […]

Endometriosis and Adenomyosis; A Workplace Issue

Endometriosis and Adenomyosis are chronic and painful conditions where cells from the lining of the womb are deposited in other parts of the body instead of being lost during menstruation. These cells continue to change in size and bleed in response to a woman’s normal menstrual cycle. This can affect bowel, bladder and kidney function, […]

Disabled Trafficked Women’s Rights – What Rights?

This Women’s Conference is concerned to learn about recent reports of abuse towards disabled women in the human trafficking industry. This is an industry where escaping is often met with even greater barriers than usual for non disabled women as accessible support systems are extremely hard to find, and their built environments and accessible information […]

Changes to Working Hours

Since the introduction of the Health & Social Care Act more care is expected to be provided at home, Women working in the NHS, Local Government and Voluntary Sectors are seeing the move towards a 24 hour / 7 day service being implemented at a rapid rate and more and more requests for flexible working […]

Beyond the European Elections – what happens next?

Conference notes that in May 2014, 28 member states of the European Union (EU) elected 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to represent their interests. These elected representatives have a 5 year term of office in which to advance any number of common policies and promote a Europe that celebrates all its diverse members […]

Saying what we mean

Conference believes that inclusive language is important in ensuring that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) women within the women’s movement and UNISON women’s self organisation feel welcome and valued. Conference also believes that language, and our understanding of language, is constantly evolving, and that as women, including LGBT women, we should always be […]

Increasing participation of low paid and part time women

Increasing participation of low paid and/or part time women is not a new subject but an important one as many women find themselves on low salaries and working in part time or on zero hours contracts. UNISON women members total two thirds of the current membership and although strides have been taken to increase their […]

Encouraging Diversity in Women’s Committee’s

In UNISON more than 70% of our total membership are women. UNISON is committed to fair representation and proportionality (Rule D4.1). However, we know in the public sector where many of our members are Black Women we see very few represented at Branch, Regional and National Committee level; despite statistics nationally telling us that Black […]

Domestic violence – a gendered issue

Conference notes that research from the home office has shown that nearly 90% of severe and repeated domestic violence is experienced by women. The Home Office report on Domestic Violence, sexual assault and stalking (findings from the British Crime Survey) reported that “women are the overwhelming majority of the most heavily abused group. Among people […]

Encouraging More Young Women to be Active in UNISON

Conference notes that women make up more than two thirds of the union’s membership; however figures show the active involvement of young women is low. At this time of austerity it is crucial we try to encourage more young women to take an active role in our union. The Coalition’s attack on public services have […]

Women Apprentices

Conference notes the much lower number of women that become apprentices in areas such as engineering, construction and information technology Female apprentices are more likely to end up in low paid jobs. So whilst there are apprenticeships available for women, female dominated areas tend to offer lower wages and less chance of career progression. According […]

Women in Prison

At the 2009 National Women’s Conference in Southport UNISON women welcomed the Labour Government commissioned Corston Report and its recommendations in respect of women in prisons in the UK. In particular conference welcomed the proposal for small, multifunctional non-custodial centres, which the report recommended be widely dispersed across the country. Conference is disappointed therefore that […]

Stop Porn Culture

At our National Women’s Conference 2013, for the first time, one of our workshops focused on understanding and challenging porn culture. Almost 100 women attended to hear the realities of the porn industry. That workshop revealed that UNISON women’s conference has yet to set a policy position on pornography. The pornography industry has pushed its […]