Motion 6. Water and the Future

With more of our companies imposing pay rises on our members, UU introducing spot rates and Scottish Water trying to get rises that are 100% performance based, it is obvious we are in for a rough ride in the not so distant future. Because we are higher paid than other groups in UNISON and the […]

Motion 4. Overseas suppliers

The larger water companies import much of their sewage and water pipes from Asia especially large diameter pipes used in capital schemes, in the case of Yorkshire Water from Kolkata in India via a UK subsidiary. This contract has been running for ten years. Our company has someone who monitors the contract and makes visits […]

Motion 3. Cost saving versus Risk

In these times of high energy costs water companies are embarking on initiatives to save money. This includes turning off sections of plant at times of the day when energy costs are highest. Because this at present tends to be for short periods after normal working hours the focus may be concentrated on how much […]

Motion 2. Hidden killers.

Having had a tanker driver repeatedly exposed to high levels of hydrogen sulphide whilst tankering sludge off at sewage treatment works, this has served to remind us of the risks posed to our members from dangerous gases. This member had his HGV and all other driving licences taken away by the DVLA as a result […]

Motion 1. Safety of Dig Teams

With ever more private companies laying electric cables and gas pipes on new build sites and companies being bought out or going bankrupt, the health and safety of dig teams on water contacts are being jeopardised because there is no central database. Buried services may belong to utilities, commercial sites, industrial sites or the military. […]

Risk Reward Partners

Conference notes with concern the actions of the Labour controlled council of Newport City in maintaining the previous Tory/Lib-Dem council’s arrangement for contracting with a range of private sector consultants to conduct service reviews across most services. This initiative is part of Newport city Council’s stated corporate efficiency programme, and is supposedly designed to deliver […]

Privatisation of Meat Inspection

Conference notes that Meat Hygiene Inspectors and Official Veterinarians carry out a vital public service- protecting consumers from poor quality meat. Conference recognises the direction of travel within the European Union (EU) is to move toward privatisation of the meat inspection industry; and to adopt a ‘risk based approach’. Conference believes privatisation of meat inspection, […]

A National Health Service means no to postcode pay

Conference notes with concern and anger the threat to health workers, their families, patients, communities and our National Health Service that has been represented by the Pay Cartel in the South West (aka the Pay Consortium). Conference further notes the ongoing threat posed by NHS Employers across the country who unilaterally or in collaboration with […]

Call Centre Working Time

UNISON welcomed the publication of the new call centre charter, launched last year by Professor Charlotte Rainer (report author) of Portsmouth University at this conference. The continued and disproportionate levels of workplace stress, bullying and harassment which in turn leads to a higher than average level of sickness absence, is a big concern. An increasing […]

Personal Protective Equipment Checklist for Safety Representatives

Water, Environment and Transport Conference 2013 calls upon the WET Executive to devise a checklist to ensure that any PPE is compliant with the law. As a minimum, the checklist should include: • Check with employers that PPE was purchased from reputable suppliers i.e. from Companies displaying the logo of the Registered Safety Suppliers (RSS) […]

Near Fatality Following Confined Space Entry

This Conference is aware of an incident that took place on a water meter chamber in Slovakia which ultimately resulted in 1 of 2 water meter readers suffering brain damage which will likely prevent him from working ever again. Whilst most of the water industry in Great Britain follows the correct procedures in regards to […]

Lone Working Incident

Conference is aware of an incident that occurred in Scottish Water in 2012 which could have had very serious consequences. A Worker was lone working and left his mobile phone in his van while accessing a building which subsequently trapped him through a faulty door. It was several hours before this worker could be rescued […]

Health and Safety event for Safety Representatives of Branches in the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group

Following on from the success of the 2012 WET Health & Safety event, this Conference calls on a similar event to be staged in the spring of 2014 as Health and Safety remains one of the key areas for our members. Positive feedback was received from all attendees last time and experience gained from others […]

Presenteeism

Recent statistics prove that workers are taking less time off sick than ever before but this can well be a false economy situation particularly for members we represent in the WET Service Group. Workplaces now face a bigger problem of presenteeism not absenteeism whereby workers are struggling into workplaces with ill health symptoms and end […]

Direct to Site Working

Issues are being experienced in some Branches including Scottish Water whereby the Working Time Regulations appear to be being misinterpreted in particular when working time begins. Instances that have come to the fore include employees being required to do basic vehicle checks in their own time before commencing work. In addition, employees are being told […]