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

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 […]

Working people already paid for the financial crises; they should not pay for Brexit

The Conservatives’ self-imposed Brexit deadline is fast approaching but they remain distracted by internal divisions and ideological entrenchment, which is in real danger of pushing the country towards a cliff edge. In February 2018, Cabinet ministers have lined up to produce a series of ‘major speeches’ on Brexit that has only succeeded in highlighting how […]

Homelessness

Conference recognises the increase in homelessness in recent years. This is most readily seen by the increasing numbers of rough sleepers in all parts of the country. However, the number of people living in over-crowded conditions, ‘couch surfing’ and in inappropriate and often unsafe situations has also increased. The UK government has no credible homelessness […]

Npower and SSE Merger

UNISON Energy Conference notes with cautious concern the proposed merger of SSE and Npower which will see the Big 6 energy suppliers become the Big 5 and the merged company holding 12.7 million customers combined. Conference we note also the SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies claiming that the merger will create a new model – […]

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 […]

Zero hours and Black workers

Recent news has reported that the number of people that are unemployed has hit a record low. What these statistics do not report is that a large proportion of this is due to the increase in zero hours contracts. Employers have increasingly been turning to zero hours contracts as part of the general attack on […]

Race Equality Act – How far have we come since 1968?

On 8 December 1965 the first Race Relations Act came into force in Britain. Prior to this, it was legal to discriminate against people because of the colour of their skin, and this act was the first in many equality legislation to promote non-discrimination and equality, the Act was amended in 1968. This year is […]

Equality e-Learning within WET companies

All employees regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and any disability are to be treated equally and have equal access to opportunities. They must have a sense of belonging at work. They must feel respected and valued for who they are and have a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that they […]

The Push towards Homeworking – ‘Good or Bad’?

Conference is aware that homeworking has increased substantially in recent years and is only going to continue in the future, as sector WET companies continue to cut overheads, save space, encourage flexible working and require an agile workforce. Yorkshire Water are currently encouraging their workforce (office based) to consider working from home at least 1 […]

The push for upper quartile – The ignored impact on employees

As conference will be aware Ofwat is pushing forward it’s vision for the water sector commencing in 2020. A major part of this is to push competition between the water companies harder than before. The phrase ‘upper quartile’ in now bandied about as the place to be and those who are not ‘upper quartile’ will […]

Health and Safety Reps standby

This conference notes the ever-increasing need for safety improvements in the WET sector. Yorkshire Water Branch would like the sector to adopt the approach being taking at Kelda where we have formed a health and safety representative’s standby rota. It has been designed for union health and safety reps to get called out to investigate […]

WET e-learning – is it up to the Job?

Quality training and development is important to our members. Yorkshire Water recently closed its training centre in favour of pushing more e-learning onto desktop PCs in the workplace. The list of benefits to WET companies is endless. Massive cost savings are achieved by closing training centres, no course materials, no travel time, less work disruption […]

The role of markets in delivering Water Services

Conference notes that Ofwat in their publication Water 2020 have declared an intention to look to promote markets to deliver services in Water Resources and Bio-resources. Following the collapse of Carillion and the ramifications on public services is it not clear that a ‘markets’ based strategy could have similar devastating consequences for both the public […]