Location tracking and Telematics in Water, Environment and Transport

Over the past decade, many employers in water, environment and transport have introduced tracking or “Telematics” technology in some form. This technology can track the location and movement of both vehicles and individuals in real-time, providing statistical and geo-locational information. Conference acknowledges that there can be some benefits regarding health and safety when this technology […]

The Environment Agency and major flooding incidents

Conference commends the incredible amount of hard work carried out by Environment Agency employees, including many UNISON members, (and employees from other organisations with flood relief responsibilities) during the flooding which took place in the final days of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. As a service group we are very proud that our members […]

Facility time

Conference, these are incredibly turbulent times in the public sector, especially those employers in the Water Environment and Transport Service Groups. Conference motions continue to reappear especially those of facility time, outsourcing and privatisation. Conference the nature of the barriers facing disabled workers is so diverse and complex this can affect how disabled people are […]

Stonewall workplace equality index

Conference notes that the charity Stonewall produces an annual workplace equality index, which it describes as an evidence-based benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) equality in the workplace. From 2016, they have pledged to also assess achievements and progress on transgender equality within the […]

Negotiating workplace domestic abuse policies

Conference notes that domestic abuse has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on business productivity and the UK economy. Government statistics demonstrate that: i. 1 in 5 women each year take time off work because of domestic abuse. ii. 2 in every one hundred will lose their jobs iii. of those who remain in […]

The impact of pension changes on workers in the WET sector

Conference notes that from 6 April 2016 the Basic State Pension and Second State Pension (S2P) will end and be combined/ replaced by a new State Pension. The majority of members in the WET service group are currently paying reduced rate NI Contributions because they are in a work place pension scheme that is better […]

Schools Funding

This Conference notes: 1)The proposal included in the Comprehensive Spending Review to create a single national funding formula for schools in England; 2)That this could cut funding for schools in cities and metropolitan areas in particular by as much as 20%; 3)Support staff, who make up 1 in 3 of workers organised within the local […]

UNISON local government members supporting refugees

Conference is pleased to note that funding for refugee resettlement is to be increased. Whilst this targeted funding is welcome, it also raises concerns for staff working in local government who are already under extreme pressure from cuts in local government jobs and services, allied with increased demand from existing service users. Conference believes that […]

Bullying and Young Members

Conference recognises that the cuts in local government are adding to the already high levels of overwork. Staff are being asked to carry a heavier workload due to the reduction in staffing levels but continuing and sometimes increasing demands for services. In many councils the number of managers has been reduced with remaining managers expected […]

Local government members and the Housing Bill

Conference notes the proposed Housing and Planning Bill will have a devastating effect on existing and future social housing provision. The Bill proposes to: 1)Compel councils to sell off ‘high value’ homes on the open market when they become empty; 2)End lifetime secure tenancies, meaning the break up of stable and mixed communities; 3)Introduce means […]

Crisis in Social Work

Conference notes the vital role undertaken by social workers across the UK and applauds their continued ability to carry out excellent work in their communities despite the increased amount of pressure they are facing in their jobs. Social workers are having to cope with funding cuts to their services as caseload and referral levels continue […]

Organising, Pay and Grading in Academies

UNISON deplores the government’s policy of turning all schools in England into academies, claiming that this will improve school outcomes. The Education and Adoption Act gives more powers to the Secretary of State for Education to force schools to become academies, particularly those that are defined as ‘coasting schools’. However evidence shows that just turning […]

Organising in Local Government

Conference recognises the huge challenges posed to UNISON’s ability to organise and recruit in local government in recent years. We have seen billions of pounds of funding cuts, which have led to the loss of more than half a million posts, with many UNISON members losing their jobs, and many more increasingly wary of being […]

Youth Services and Youth Workers

Conference notes that youth and community services have suffered massive cuts every year since 2010. UNISON’s 2014 ‘Damage’ report made clear the extent and impact of these cuts: hundreds of youth centres have closed and tens of thousands of youth service places for young people have been lost. Updated UNISON research is expected to show […]

Protecting Pensions in the Water Industry

This WET Conference notes that adverse changes have recently occurred to defined benefit (final salary) pension schemes in Severn Trent, Dwr Cymru, Northumbria Water and United Utilities as a minimum. The Water Industry has been a licence to make money since privatisation in 1989 when Thatcher wrote off all the debts and remains a monopolised […]