CRISIS IN HIGHER EDUCATION INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOTING – A PAY STRATEGY THAT CAN AND MUST WIN The Higher Education Sector has reached what appears to be a crisis point regarding balloting for strike action over pay. Neither aggregate nor disaggregate balloting appears to be effective when considering the returns from industrial action ballots in Higher […]


Conference acknowledges the endemic nature of abuse, harassment and violence faced by women on a daily basis. The tragic murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry Nicole Smallman, Sabina Nessa and many other women in the past year have brought to the forefront the scale of violence against women and reinforced how unsafe many women feel […]

Disabled Women Paying the Price of Punitive Government Policy

Conference notes that the 2020 National Women’s Conference passed policy on how women were on a “cliff edge” with respect of to the poverty trap that the need to stay within the thresholds of Universal Credit has created. The pandemic has made this situation much worse. Disabled women are faced with a perfect storm of […]

A Voice for Part Time Workers

A Voice for Women Part time Workers Information on UNISON’s website about part-time working states that, ‘Nearly half of UNISON’s members work part-time and the majority of them are women’. Conference this should give these part time women members a loud and clear directive to be included within the very structures of Unison. Not all […]

Don’t forget about us when we are not in the room: Black women getting active in UNISON

UNISON can only be the strong, vibrant, effective union it strives to be if Black women are involved and active in every part of its work. Black women are still underrepresented at branch, regional and national level even though UNISON has 1 million women in membership. This is a trend that the National Black Members […]


69% of low paid or insecure jobs are held by women. Women are the majority of people living in poverty and female headed households are poor – these constitute 90% of lone parent households, 45% of which are living in poverty. (Fawcett Society) Conference notes and condemns the removal of the £20 per week pandemic-related […]

Incorporate CEDAW into domestic legislation

2. Incorporate CEDAW into domestic legislation CEDAW is the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Discrimination Against Women – also called the International Bill of Rights for Women. CEDAW provides an international framework for States to take responsibility for tackling discrimination against women and achieving substantive equality for women in both the private and […]

Improve affordable, good quality and accessible childcare and create awareness and understanding on how this issue continues to disproportionally affect women following the impact of Covid-19

Access to affordable childcare has been a long-standing challenge for women. In the current climate of adjusting to the impact of Covid-19, further barriers and challenges are being experienced by women endeavouring to have access to and retaining existing good quality early childcare. According to a survey conducted by Pregnant Then Screwed, 57% of working […]

Feminist Recovery Plan Relaunch

The Women’s Policy Group Northern Ireland (WPG) is comprised of women from feminist campaigning organisations, migrant groups, human rights and equality organisations and trade unions – including UNISON NI. In July 2021, the WPG updated and re-launched its Feminist Recovery Plan, which highlights the experiences of women in NI during the pandemic and make the […]

Decriminalise and defend the right to choose

This Conference notes: • The near total ban on abortion in Texas by restricting it to the first 6 weeks of gestation, a time when most people don’t even know that they are pregnant • That this threatens the Roe vs Wade ruling of 1973 that made abortion legal in the US. • The huge […]

Supporting carers in the workplace

One in four workers are carer’s, the majority of these being women. 4.5 million people became unpaid carers as a result of Covid-19, which is an increase of 50% (Carers UK). This figure doesn’t include silent carers so the figures will be much higher. The lack of government awareness on the impact of caring responsibilities […]

Equality for trans women – louder and prouder!

The toxic debate ignited by the UK government’s public consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) underlined the importance of our union supporting and representing our trans members effectively. Attacks on trans rights have continued to escalate. In September 2021, the Council of Europe published a detailed report ‘Combating rising hate against LGBTI people […]

For safety – end support for the ‘Nordic model’

Conference notes that UNISON’s national women’s conference led the development of UNISON’s current policy on sex workers, which was agreed in 2010 when National Delegate Conference adopted a motion from women’s conference supporting the Nordic model, a legal model based on decriminalising the selling of sexual services while introducing a ‘sex buyers law’ criminalising those […]

A balloting strategy that works for our members!

Conference notes that since the introduction of the Trade Union Act, our union and the Service Group Executive (SGE) have failed to adapt to the changing dynamics of the need to win 50% turnouts. We have seen successful ballot actions fail to reach the required threshold to undertake lawful industrial action and this has left […]

Trans equality in higher education – louder and prouder!

The toxic debate ignited by the United Kingdom government’s consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act underlined the importance of our union, including branches in the Higher Education Service Group, supporting and representing our trans members effectively Attacks on trans people escalated further in 2021. Groups trying to roll back the rights of trans people […]