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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ensuring the Living Wage for all in the Water Industry

WET Conference congratulates the Water Industry Sector Committee and the Executive for the work done to date in trying to ensure all within the Water Industry whether directly employed or via contract are paid the Living Wage. It cannot be right whereby two people sat side by side are paid different amounts, one the Living […]

Mental Health in WET Workplaces

This WET Conference congratulates the Environment Agency North West branch in running a pilot course backed by United Utilities branch in aiming to address mental health issues in workplaces covered by the WET service Group. Particularly in call centre environments, mental health can be a major issue caused by unrealistic timescales placed on employees including […]

Closer Working with Students’ Unions

Conference notes the vital importance of expanding the spirit and ethos of trade unionism amongst students. To this end, as a highly politically sensitive area of the union, we need to foster closer relations with students unions through the UK. Students, as a group of ‘consumers’, need to realise that with increased tuition fees, they […]

Assessing the value of the Race Equality Charter Mark for Black staff and students in Public Services/Higher Education

Conference, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) piloted a Race Equality Charter Mark with the aim to inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to Black staff and students. The Charter covered: a)Professional and support staff b)Academic staff c)Student attainment, diversity of the curriculum and progression of […]

Higher Education deserves Fair Pay

Conference notes that Higher Education pay and conditions continue to erode following the year on year meagre pay offer from UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association). We know that Universities budget for a figure higher than what is eventually offered by the UCEA negotiators. UK Universities have been described by the Tory Chancellor as the […]

New ways of working and reasonable adjustments

Conference notes that government cuts mean employers are looking for new ways of working to save money without cutting jobs. Often referred to as Lean or Agile Working, these methods were developed by Toyota and are predominantly used in manufacturing industries. If implemented correctly they can bring financial savings and improve working conditions. While we […]

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) staff working overseas

Conference recognises over the last 10 years there has been a massive growth in UK University’s opening overseas facilities, UK Universities are also increasingly involved in offshore campus partnerships. Conference believes that working overseas can be beneficial, both professionally and personally, for the members involved and can provide a new and challenging context for teaching, […]

Encouraging More Women to be Active in UNISON

Austerity has resulted in severe jobs losses within the public sector and the disappearance of many essential services. As women make up a core part of the workforce, and are also the main users of many public services, they have been impacted disproportionally. It is therefore essential that women are at the forefront of fighting […]