Exemptions from hot-desking – a reasonable adjustment for disabled workers

Since 2010 local government has faced swingeing budget cuts as part of central government’s austerity agenda. This has led to many councils introducing hot-desking in order to reduce their premises costs. Workers no longer have a fixed desk but instead have to find an empty desk every day. Conference is concerned about the impact of […]

Negotiating disability leave policies with local government employers

Disability leave is time off from work for a reason related to someone’s disability. It is an example of a reasonable adjustment which local government employers have a duty to provide to disabled staff under the Equality Act 2010. It is different to sick leave – in many cases the worker is not actually sick […]

Cuts to pastoral support in schools

A recent UNISON survey of staff who provide pastoral support for pupils raised significant concerns at the impact of cuts to services. Support staff are often trusted adults and confided in by pupils about a huge range of welfare issues, from parental separation, bereavement and caring responsibilities to bullying, eating problems and suicidal thoughts; regardless […]

Facility time

Trade union facility time is one of the basic and most vital building blocks for local trade union organisation, and it is also of enormous benefit to employers. Since 2010, many local authorities have cut facility time significantly, sometimes driven by ideology and sometimes by cuts in funding. Conference notes that in December 2018-January 2019 […]

Crisis in social care

Conference recognises that the crisis in social care continues apace across the UK as councils suffer the consequences of almost a decade of underfunding. According to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, £7bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010. UNISON members have spoken out about the impact of cuts on […]

Libraries at breaking point

Conference is deeply concerned at the state of our public library service. In 2017-18 alone, spending by local authorities on public libraries fell by £30 million. The service lost 712 full-time equivalent posts and suffered a net loss of 127 service points. Volunteer numbers rose to a staggering 51,394 volunteers putting in 1,780,843 hours. Our […]

Local service champions

Local government is a diverse network of roles and services that all work together to keep our local communities going. Local government workers have a vital role to play in this, working tirelessly to support the public in their everyday lives. They are true local champions, sometimes working ‘behind the scenes’ to make sure our […]

Recruiting and organising fire and rescue staff

Non-operational fire and rescue staff are a key but often overlooked part of the fire and rescue service. Technicians, driving instructors, administrators and many others work tirelessly alongside fire fighters and control room staff to keep businesses, communities and members of the public safe. The severe cuts to public spending in local government and their […]

Regional Pay Bargaining

Conference notes that the new NJC pay spine is not only being adopted by councils who had moved away from the NJC, but also by multi academy trusts who are increasingly coming onto NJC conditions. Both recognise the benefits of the new NJC pay spine in providing stability by future proofing them against future National […]

SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSFORMATION PLANS (STPs) AND CONSULTATION WITH REPRESENTATIVE ORGANISATIONS OF OLDER PEOPLE

This Conference notes that the consultation process involving STPs and representative organisations for older people is, to say the least, patchy. In some areas of the country STPs are failing to consult or engage with organisations that represent older people and crucial services are either being introduced or withdrawn without due process taking place. Needs […]

INQUIRY INTO THE FINANCIAL REPORTING COUNCIL

Conference notes the view of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum that the Financial Reporting Council has been too cosy with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Big Four accountancy firms. This is set against a background of growing concerns about the state of the accounting and auditing professions after a string of […]

The Impact of Sustainability and Transformation Plans on Older People

Conference notes with alarm the disproportionate effect on older people with dementia of inadequate and deteriorating provision of Social care and health services for example: 1) Research has found that older people with dementia are largely the ones using hospital A& E Services or being admitted because of poor or unavailable social care provision; 2) […]

Easier Access to Powers of Attorney

This conference notes the media constantly bombard us with reports of the ageing population and the increasing strain this is putting on our public services. What gets no coverage at all is the difficulties, for the individual and their nearest and dearest, if they are unable to manage their own affairs. The solution to these […]

Power of Attorney – Advocacy and Ombudsman Service

This Conference endorses UNISON’s Retired Members’ policy to promote Powers of Attorney to safeguard older persons’ interests in the event of them becoming unable to handle their own affairs. When there is a dispute or misunderstanding between the two or more people holding the Power of Attorney or between the Attorney and the donor , […]

Keeping Our Options Open

Conference broadly welcomes UNISON’s national initiative to reduce the environmental impact of our conferences by lessening the amount of paper used to provide delegates’ information. However it must be remembered that many retired members are not computer literate and do not have their own IT equipment – or access to any other such equipment except […]