Open University closed to disabled students

The Open University’s (OU) is a flexible system of learning that supports the largest disabled student community in the UK. Last year almost 20,000 disabled students studied at the OU and a large number were UNISON’s Disabled Members. Conference is concerned the planned closure of Regional Centres announced on 15 September may mean the OU […]

Attacks on access to justice is an attack on people with disabilities

Conference will note that we are now over 5 months into this Conservative Government and the wellbeing of our disabled members and their families is under constant threat from draconian legislation on welfare, social care cuts by local authority, changes to the benefits system and proposed changes to human rights legislation and a referendum to […]

Disabled Labour

Conference will note the Labour election defeat in May 2015 and the return of a Tory Government. Conference will further note the lack of any policies likely to benefit people with disabilities in the Tory party manifesto or Queens Speech. Moreover, a further round of welfare cuts and reduction of services is proposed. Conference will […]

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 […]

Disabled members delivering public services in times of austerity

Conference condemns the continued attacks on the funding of public services. Austerity cuts are providing an environment for employers to continue to cut/reduce vital services, outsource services, or develop shared services with other public bodies and private organisations. The cuts are being used as a reason by employers to increase the use volunteers, have continual […]

Privatisation/Outsourcing and the Equality Duty

Conference is aware this Government is eroding the public sector by privatisation and outsourcing. The Post Office; East Coast Mainline; a third of recent NHS contracts; and more recently, over half of the Probation Service, all moving into private hands, not only will this lead to poorer service provision, it will also have a negative […]

Coming Out to get Facility Time

Conference will note that participation in self organisation is integral to the core work and values of UNISON. Yet activists are increasingly reporting that employers are cutting back on facility time and questioning the purpose of the meeting. Activists are feeling pressurised into disclosing their disability, sexual orientation or gender identity when they may have […]

Additional impact of learning difficulties on Mental Health

Conference 2014 acknowledged the particular mental health concerns for disabled LGBT people and agreed an action plan to start to address this. Conferences notes the additional impact that being diagnosed with a learning difficulty or disability can have upon our mental health. People who are not aware of their specific learning difficulty or disability or […]

The fight for fair sickness absence procedures and ‘Disability Leave’

This Conference notes with concern the election of a ‘Tory’ Government with a majority in Parliament and believes that this will signal a worsening of the rights and the likely employability of disabled people. The Conservatives have indicated their contempt for Industrial Tribunals and are not supportive of any restrictions on employers in their dealings […]

Concessionary travel passes.

Conference notes the benefits that access to public transport, such as buses, trains and coaches, can bring to many disabled people. Concessionary Passes enable this access but the conditions applicable vary across different nations of the United Kingdom. Also currently, passes issued in one country cannot be used in another. Conference believes that there would […]

Guidance on rights for disabled workers

This Conference believes that many disabled workers are unaware of their rights as disabled employees. This Conference also believes that without awareness of rights, such rights cannot be pursued, and become endangered through lack of use. This Conference further believes that (i) it is important that information about disabled workers rights be available in a […]

Rise of Racism in the UK

Conference, a recent study commissioned by NatCen, an organisation which looks into British Social Attitudes has overwhelmingly established that racism is on the rise. While thirty per cent of Britons described themselves as having “very or a little prejudice against people of other races”, the survey also outlined that attitudes have changed since the 1980’s […]

Following through on reasonable adjustments

Composite A Following through on reasonable adjustments (Motions 2 and 3, Amendments 2.1, 2.2 and 3.1) This Conference welcomes the continued support at Young Members’ Weekend for a meeting of disabled young members, a process by which those members can feed their issues into the National Young Members’ Forum work plan. This Conference notes that […]

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 […]