Cross-functioning across Clean and Waste Sites.

The latest reorganisations within several of the water companies seem to have turned the clock back and brought clean and waste water operatives working together and cross functioning across sites. This seems to us to be a backward step. The risk of contamination to workers and the public was a major reason why these streams […]

Impact of Water and Sewage Assets on Health & Safety.

Because of how the Water Companies are funded by OFWAT whose priority is value for money for the consumer and also the companies adopting risk-based strategies in order to deliver maximum profits for their owners, very little money is spent on maintaining our assets. Customer pressure groups objecting to high profits and increasing bills compound […]

The Public Sector Equality Duty

Conference notes that the Equality Act 2010 harmonised former equality legislation – the Sex Discrimination Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Race Relations (amendment) Act and related legislation. Although the 2010 Act failed to meet the aspirations of many interested parties, including UNISON, there are significant benefits for employees and public sector services. However, […]

EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENTS & THE NEW SINGLE EQUALITY BILL

Conference recognises and welcomes the Single Equality Bill which will change discrimination law in a number of important ways. We are concerned however, that a new wave of restructuring across the Public Sectors (inc. Local Government, NHS, Higher Education & Voluntary Organisations) are to have a negative impact on Black, Low Paid, Women, Disabled, Lesbian, […]

Nursing and Midwifery Council Support or Rhetoric

Conference notes that registered nurses have an obligation under the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Code of Conduct to formally raise any concerns they have about patient safety. This is also incorporated into the NHS Constitution (England). We also note the importance of raising concerns about poor standards of patient care, in the wake of […]

Training and development: crucial to the NHS

This Conference believes that proper training and development opportunities are essential for all those working for the NHS, regardless of what function they perform, if it is to maintain the standards crucial to the care of patients. For young staff, particularly those working in ancillary and administrative roles, looking to having careers in the NHS […]

Health and Safety Enforcement

Last year this conference welcomed the findings of the Boorman Report which highlighted the importance of: 1)The health & well being of NHS staff and the link between this and positive patient outcomes 2)Good quality occupational health services 3)Early interventions aimed at tackling the underlying causes of ill health and injury in the NHS such […]

Targeted Organising and Recruitment

Conference notes that the NHS in England is witnessing one of the most radical reform agendas ever and public service cuts are beginning to hit health services hard in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These challenges will have a huge impact on less organised workplaces where non-unionised staff density is high. Conference also notes that, […]

NHS Knowledge & Skills Framework and Learning in the NHS

Conference notes that the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) is the tool that supports career and pay progression for all NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts. As an integral part of Agenda for Change, the KSF gives staff a contractual right to access learning and development opportunities at work. Conference recognises that, whilst […]

Partnership Working in Difficult Times

Conference believes that the greatest test of the effectiveness of social partnership between governments, employers and trade unions is whether it can deliver real gains for staff and patients in difficult times. Conference recognises that, since 1997, partnership working has delivered real benefits for NHS staff and helped improve patient care, in all four countries […]

HOW FLEXIBLE IS YOUR EMPLOYER BEING WITH FLEXIBLE WORKING REQUESTS

Too many employers view flexible working as only benefiting the employee. Some employers believe that a desire to work flexibly implies a lack of commitment, that it is primarily a benefit for working mothers and that it will breed resentment among those who don’t work flexibly. These attitudes represent the biggest obstacle to flexible working. […]

PROTECTED GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES

In her speech to the annual Women’s Aid National Conference in July 2010 Teresa May claimed “Violence against women is and always has been a priority for me and my ambition is nothing less than ending it”. She promised to ensure that ending violence against women would remain a priority for the coalition government. However, […]

SICKNESS ABSENCE POLICIES THAT PENALISE WOMEN UNJUSTLY

The majority of employees in the public sector are women and many of them will experience at some time in their working lives health related absences that result in intrusive and harsh management responses as a consequence of rigid sickness absence policies – often based on the ‘Bradford Factor’ – a human resources tool widely […]

WOMEN AND UK ONLINE

This conference notes that increasing pressure is being placed on households to communicate and gather vital information, and to carry out transactions such as buying licences and paying bills, via the internet. Conference is aware that there are very many current and retired women public service workers, on very low incomes for whom the purchase […]

A MILLION WOMEN UNITED AGAINST CUTS

The coalition government’s emergency budget claimed to be fair, but cuts in jobs and wages, and changes to benefits and taxes, will impact hardest on women – particularly low paid women and their families: 1)Sixty five per cent of public sector workers are women, and almost a quarter of working women are in public sector […]