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 […]

Pensions in the Community and Voluntary Sector

This Community Conference notes the ongoing crisis in pension provision affecting our members in Community and also that community and voluntary sector employees are among the lowest paid in society. The minimum level of auto-enrolment pensions is grossly inadequate; and employers continue to dumb down pension schemes to limit any possible financial risk to themselves. […]

Union Busting in the UK Housing Association and Charitable Sector

This conference notes: That a small number of Housing associations and other Charities in our sector are openly hostile to trade unions, carry out American style anti union practices and refuse to recognise trade unions. The right of free assembly and collective bargaining is a fundamental human right enshrined in international law. Any failure by […]

Volunteering

Conference reiterates our belief, set out in Motion 11 at Community Conference 2010, that volunteers play a valuable role in many areas of society, including in the community and voluntary sector and in trade unions. We agreed that “Conference believes that paid staff and volunteering roles are different, and volunteering should not be used by […]

LGBT Austerity in the Community Sector

Conference notes the research carried out by NatCen for UNISON in late 2013 which showed the impact of austerity on services for LGBT people including those services delivered by the community and voluntary sector. It revealed devastating cuts to services but also showed that austerity has had a negative impact on job security, terms and […]

Organising for Equality in the Community Sector

Conference welcomes the updated “Organising for Equality: UNISON guidelines on self organisation”. In the forward to the guidance, Dave Prentis, our General Secretary states that “Self-organisation is an essential tool helping the union to identify and challenge discrimination and build equality. It can be a way for members to get involved in the union, developing […]

Staffing Shortages in the Community & Voluntary Sector and the Impact on Young People

Conference notes with concern that many charities and third sector organisations are currently short staffed but are unwilling or unable to hire new staff members due to cost. Staffing shortages in the Community & Voluntary Sector are having a negative impact on workers lives, particularly young workers. In particular, staffing shortages can impact on: 1) […]

The Impact on Members of ‘Welfare Reform’

Community members within the housing and associated areas, view with concern, the impact on their jobs, pay and terms and conditions, of the ongoing roll out of ‘Welfare Reform’. It has been apparent from the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ that the reduction on the amount of housing benefit paid to tenants and service users, […]

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 […]

BLACK LGBT ASYLUM SEEKERS

Conferences is concerned to hear that homosexuality is criminalised in 76 countries in the world, including 40 African countries, and society persecutes and discriminates against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (LGBT) people in even more countries. In July 2011 it was reported that the Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma had spoken out against discrimination towards […]

ROTHERHAM

Conference is appalled at the cases of grooming and sexual abuse in Rotherham. While we do not know the true scale the independent enquiry into Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham led by Alexis Jay gives a conservative estimate involving approximately 1400 children, adding: “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that […]

POLITICS AND BLACK COMMUNITIES

Black communities must reject the economic policies of the coalition government. Austerity cuts continue to significantly impact on Black people and we cannot sit back and see our basic human rights eroded due to the colour of our skin. Conference, too often the colour of your skin determines your life chances and Black communities continue […]

HIDDEN DISABILITIES

Conference notes with concern the issues faced by our Black members living with long term conditions and hidden disabilities such as Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) more common in Black women, Sarcoidosis and Sickle cell. The fact that these conditions are not obvious can cause members to have their complaints for sick leave and requests for […]

DEFINING BLACK

Conference, despite the work done by the National Black Members’ Committee in producing a definition of ‘Black’ in UNISON in 2013 there continues to be questions about using ‘Black’ when addressing Black members. We have also found that branches and Regions in the union continue to use other definitions when describing ‘Black’ members, such as […]