Root and Branch

With a static or decreasing number of members in our branches we need to review how we organise within the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group (WET). As moves are made to change our branches we need to find a structure that suits us before one is imposed. There seems to be a coordinated effort […]

Support for Public Transport

Having an integrated, efficient public transport network is vital to the economy and to the daily lives of millions of people. While billions of pounds will be spent on building the HS2 rail line money is being cut from local authority budgets which leads to bus services being stopped, threatening the jobs of our members. […]

HS2 Rail Project and Other Rail Developments

Conference welcomes the Coalition Government’s planned increase in rail investment, but questions the value for money, rape of the environment and a 12 year wait for completion of the HS2 high speed rail line at this time of austerity when the project will cut just 45 minutes off a journey from Birmingham to London. Conference […]

Save the Pensioner’s Bus Pass

It has been reported that the Government is considering introducing means testing for the Pensioners Bus Pass. This is a short sighted policy that will bring little benefit to the taxpayer. It will however bring isolation and misery to those pensioners who rely on public transport to travel but who will not be able to […]

Tackling Stress in Water, Environment and Transport Workplaces

Conference welcomes the work done over many years by UNISON negotiators and representatives in water, environment and transport (WET) to highlight and tackle workplace stress. Conference is concerned that the current climate, with persistent threat to jobs, is placing particular stresses on WET members. There is micro-management, ever more pressure to meet targets, with fewer […]

Celebrating Eequality in WET Workplaces

Conference notes that workplace equality issues are often portrayed as problems, difficult to handle, a minority interest and all about discrimination and prejudice. Conference believes that equality is not a problem but rather is something to celebrate in our Water, Environment and Transport (WET) workplaces. By celebrating equality and celebrating diversity we can help end […]

Recruiting and organising under-represented workers

Conference notes that Water, Environment and Transport is the only UNISON service group where male members outnumber female. This is despite the predominance of women staff in the administrative and clerical roles, in common with the UK workforce as a whole. Women in any workforce continue to face discrimination in pay and access to training […]

Getting Equality on the Bargaining Table and Winning it for Members

This Conference welcomes the work being done by the Business and Environment Equal Opportunities Working Group (BEEOWG) to promote the equalities agenda. Equalities have long been a priority with the WET Service Group. Within the WET service group we have a long and proud tradition of fighting for equality for all our members. Over the […]

Pension Fund Trustees

Conference notes: a) Many funded pension schemes include provision for member nominated trustees. b) The financial crisis has highlighted the need for appropriate oversight and responsible management of workers capital. c) Proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme are likely to extend the rights of workers to be represented on pensions committees; d) In […]

Review of Organisation and Branch Structure in the Environment Agency

Conference notes that: a) The existing branch structure within the Environment Agency was established at the time that the Environment Agency was created and was based largely on water company boundaries. b) The structure of the Environment Agency has changed significantly since this time and concern has been expressed that certain bargaining groups are no […]

Environment Agency Cuts

This Conference is alarmed at the scale of job losses that are ongoing within the Environment Agency. It notes that since the Tory led coalition came into power nearly 25% of the workforce will have been lost as a direct result of the Government spending cuts. These cuts are a disaster for our members, for […]

Social Tariffs

This Conference notes that the Water Bill has moved through its legislative cycle following much delay. UNISON has been totally underwhelmed with the Water Bill and its contents and does not believe that the continued drive to introduce competition is the panacea that is so often claimed. If we take a look at the Energy […]

Mitbestimmung in the Water Industry

Germany has recovered from the economic downturn of the past few years faster than most and shown sustainable growth year upon year despite major upheavals and changes such as re-unification. Many economists are convinced this is due to Mitbestimmung or Co-determination law. This law underpinning industrial and company policy in Germany requires that between a […]

Combined Authorities: Good or Evil?

Conference notes that over the last four years the Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs) and Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) have been encouraged to become Combined Authorities. Local councils in transport regions are being impelled by promises from central Government of greater local control and more funding to create these Combined Authorities to administer transport. Greater Manchester […]

Public Conveniences

This Conference notes that in two years more than £10m has been cut from public spending on public conveniences in Britain, these cuts are posing potential risks to public health. In 2011/12 councils across England spent 13% less on maintaining and repairing public conveniences compared to the 2010/2011 financial year. Some councils are now spending […]