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, […]

Report back on combining Energy Conference and Energy Branch Seminar

This conference notes that at last years energy service group conference 2017, a motion submitted by the Scottish Electricity Branch was agreed by delegates, calling for a report into the setting up of a combined energy seminar and conference. It also called for this to be reported back to the 2018 energy service group conference. […]

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 […]

Flexible Working

The landscape for all workers is becoming increasingly difficult in these times of austerity imposed by a Tory Government. As an energy sector, it is all too common to see our call centres becoming outsourced and frustrations around shift patterns are a common theme. Our members are being told that they have to work to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stress in call centres and operational centres

Conference notes that many energy 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 stress, this can be intolerable. Members who […]

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 […]

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 energy service group has a majority of women members and our rules and practices to encourage women’s participation are vital […]

Renationalisation

Conference notes that UNISON is the largest staff trade union in the energy sector and has many thousands of members working in customer and retail operations in the big six energy suppliers. Conference further notes that this union is proud of its members in this area and recognises the services they provide to customers day […]

Municipal Energy Companies

Conference notes the recent growth of municipal energy companies serving consumers across the UK, including recent announcements by the Scottish Government and the Mayor of London to create new energy companies. Robin Hood Energy, founded by Nottingham City Council, has a mission to tackle local fuel poverty and is the most successful so far in […]

Support Leeds H21 Project – Hydrocarbon

UNISON welcomes the partnership between UNISON employers Northern Gas Networks and Leeds City Council together committed to pursuing the conversion of Leeds to a 100% hydrocarbon city. Converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen will be a major step towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. Currently, over 30% of all UK carbon emissions come […]