Breast is Best

Conference notes and welcomes the drive to promote breastfeeding and to offer support to women who choose to breast feed. The health benefits of breastfeeding are well-known and the WHO recommends that babies are exclusively breast fed for the first six months. However, this increasingly means that the mother has returned to work before the […]

S.O.14 Limit of Speeches

Delete 14.1 and replace with: “The mover of a motion or an amendment shall speak for no more than five minutes, and each subsequent speaker shall speak for no more than three minutes.”

S.O.15 Points of Order

Delete 15.3 and replace with: “The Point of Order shall not be debated or amended, and the Chairperson shall make an immediate ruling under S.O.6.1.”


Conference is extremely concerned at the apparent increase in the incidence of rape and the concomitant decrease in convictions of men accused of rape. In recent months there have been alarming accounts in various national newspapers of women who pursued prosecutions with the support of the police, only for their alleged attacker to be acquitted […]

Increasing the Number of Motions Submitted to National Delegate Conference by Self-Organised Groups

Conference notes that at present the Self-Organised Groups (SOGs),as well as regions, the Young Members’ Forum and retired members, are only permitted to submit a total of two motions, including any rule amendments, to National Delegate Conference. Furthermore, a proposal to increase this to four motions was defeated at National Delegate Conference 2005. Conference believes […]

Chemicals and Breast Cancer Prevention

Conference congratulates the National Women’s Committee for its joint campaign with the Women’s Environmental Network for breast cancer month last year called the big see. The campaign raised awareness amongst many of our women members about the links between some toxic chemicals in everyday use and the rising incidence of breast cancer. Many hundreds of […]

Women and Sport

Conference notes the success of Euro 2005, the EUFA (European Football Associations) women’s tournament played in England last summer. Conference applauds the BBC for its comprehensive coverage of the event, with both live matches and highlights on every evening games were played. This brought the women’s game to a much wider audience and at the […]

Support for Pathways Participants

Conference is pleased to see that women still comprise two-thirds of the membership of UNISON. Conference is concerned that every support should be given to women to ensure that they are enabled to take an active role within the union. Conference is pleased that the Pathways course was included in the national education programme and […]

Involving LGBT Women in Women’s Self-Organisation

Conference welcomes the successful rule amendment carried at last year’s National Delegate Conference introducing a LGBT self organised group into UNISON. Conference acknowledges the support given to the campaign by the National Women’s Committee, Regional Women’s Committees and Women members. Monitoring of attendance at Women’s Conferences and of the National Women’s Committee suggests that LGBT […]

Access to IVF

Conference notes that the government recently carried out a comprehensive public consultation on the Human Fertility and Embryology Act. Matters subject to the review included: 1) access to IVF – at the time of launch of the consultation the government reiterated its view that it considered that it is in the best interests of a […]

Pension Holidays

Conference recognises that pension holidays taken by employers and without consultation have caused a deficiency in public service pension funds. Many women rely on their private pensions to top up the state pension, as many will not qualify for the full state pension, putting many women below the poverty line in retirement. Conference believes that […]

Dependant Home Care Expenses Claim

Conference is pleased to acknowledge UNISON’s recent increase in the childcare and dependency allowance to £32 per day. In the current financial climate Conference’s concern is that this does not reflect the true cost of childcare in many parts of the country, especially in the south east of England where the cost of living is […]

Women’s Participation in UNISON

Conference is proud to note that there are now over one million women members of UNISON, which equates to 75 per cent of our union’s membership. Conference welcomes initiatives such as the Pathways programme and the introduction of union learning representatives which have encouraged more women into active membership and has increased their participation as […]

Defend a Woman’s Right to Choose

Conference agrees that access to birth control and abortion is crucial for women’s equality. The 2005 general election campaign saw unprecedented attacks on a woman’s right to choose, and the anti-choice lobby is adopting increasingly aggressive tactics to seek to restrict abortion rights. In particular, the sensationalist focus on later abortion is designed to confuse […]

Minimum Subsistence and Facilities for Women

Conference is concerned to note reports that some delegates to National Women’s Conference are paid subsistence rates lower than those for their branch delegates attending National Delegate Conference. It is clear that not all branches have a consistent policy for subsistence for their members which can lead to discriminatory policies in respect of subsistence rates […]