Justice For The Windrush Generation

Conference notes that while the Windrush scandal has led to the resignation of Home Secretary Amber Rudd on 30 April 2018, the policies themselves are still in operation and compensation schemes will be delayed while public consultations are held. Conference is appalled at the treatment that UNISON member Michael Braithwaite and other members of the […]

Defined Benefit Pensions in WET sectors

Conference notes with concern the terrible situation faced by pensioners in Carillion’s pension schemes, following the collapse of the company with a huge pension deficit outstanding. Conference further notes that Carillion paid high levels of executive and director pay, and bonuses, and substantial dividends to shareholders, while not addressing the deficits in its pension schemes. […]

Potential impact on jobs in water, environment and transport of the Government’s 25 year environment plan

Conference notes the publication in early 2018 of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan. Environmental stakeholders welcomed its publication, and the long-term vision which it suggested, but were concerned that there were very few concrete policy and legislative measures contained within it. Conference shares these concerns, in particular over the lack of measures that would […]

Automation, artificial intelligence and robotics in the Water Industry

Conference notes that water and wastewater companies will be including increased use of automation, artificial intelligence and robotics in their business plans for AMP7 (PR19) that they will be submitting to Ofwat. Surveys of senior executives in various industries show that organisations believe the combination of humans and machine intelligence will create a more effective, […]

Protecting members’ jobs through assuring good environmental standards following E U exit (Brexit)

Conference recognises that after the UK’s departure from the EU, the European Commission will no longer fulfil the vital function of overseeing and assuring the UK Government’s legislative and policy efforts to maintain and improve our environment. It notes that DEFRA Secretary of State, Michael Gove has proposed a new UK-based body to fulfil this […]

Human rights and equality protections in Northern Ireland

In the light of the recent political difficulties on the restoration of devolved Government in Northern Ireland we face the threat of direct rule via the Tories, some of whom are disgracefully trying to dismiss the Good Friday Agreement for their own ends. It is fair to say that the vast majority of people in […]

Stress in call centres and operational centres

Conference notes that many water, environment agency and transport (WET) service group members work in call centres and operational centres where they take calls from operational colleagues and customers. While most callers are reasonable, there is always a proportion that are unreasonable and some who are extremely abusive. In workplaces with generally high levels of […]

Inclusive workplace policies

Conference celebrates UNISON’s work over the past 25 years to promote women’s equality and participation and to tackle sexism and sex discrimination at work, in our union and across society. Like other service groups, the WET service group has a majority of women members and our rules and practices to encourage women’s participation are vital […]

Delivering the Promise of the Good Friday Agreement

Conference notes that 10th April marked the 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, over 40 years of our trade union campaign for peace and justice and 25 years of unswerving support for that campaign from UNISON, our National Executive Council, our regions and branches. Conference welcomes that the Agreement has led to relative peace […]

Essential Water Company employees are underpaid

Conference notes that water and wastewater companies have a regular (usually annual) opportunity, when pay talks are undertaken, to lift the wages of their lowest paid – but essential – employees. Conference in particular notes that many employee groups in the Water Industry are adversely affected because their level of pay is compared to that […]

Use of consultants and day-rate contractors in the Water Industry

Conference notes that water and wastewater companies are increasingly using very expensive consultants and contractors – some on day-rates as high as £1,000 or more. This is especially prevalent in the run up to each five-yearly Price Review, the current one being towards PR19. The reasons given by the companies include: a. the low number […]

Working people already paid for the financial crises; they should not pay for Brexit

The Conservatives’ self-imposed Brexit deadline is fast approaching but they remain distracted by internal divisions and ideological entrenchment, which is in real danger of pushing the country towards a cliff edge. In February 2018, Cabinet ministers have lined up to produce a series of ‘major speeches’ on Brexit that has only succeeded in highlighting how […]

Zero hours and Black workers

Recent news has reported that the number of people that are unemployed has hit a record low. What these statistics do not report is that a large proportion of this is due to the increase in zero hours contracts. Employers have increasingly been turning to zero hours contracts as part of the general attack on […]

Race Equality Act – How far have we come since 1968?

On 8 December 1965 the first Race Relations Act came into force in Britain. Prior to this, it was legal to discriminate against people because of the colour of their skin, and this act was the first in many equality legislation to promote non-discrimination and equality, the Act was amended in 1968. This year is […]

The UK is facing a future of Water Deficits – Is Re-Nationalisation the only sensible answer?

Conference notes that research for the Adaptation Sub-Committee’s (ASC) 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report considered a range of possible scenarios to assess water availability in the UK up to the 2080’s. The research, by consultancy HR Wallingford, considered differing levels of climate change, population growth and efforts to adapt to the impacts of […]