FEE EXEMPTION FOR PENSIONERS

Conference believes that the few retired people who, on retirement, want to pursue higher education in the form of undergraduate and graduate courses should enjoy an exemption from tuition fees. Apart from these fees being grossly unfair they assume an affordability which will not be the case for the majority of pensioners undertaking these courses. […]

INCOME TAX – ABOLITION OF THE 10P RATE AND PENSIONERS

Conference deplores the abolition of the 10p income tax band and its impact on pensioners especially those aged 60-64 for whom it will have a particularly adverse effect. Conference believes it was not the intention of Gordon Brown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, to disadvantage pensioners in this way, but also recognises that initiatives should […]

ELDER ABUSE – MAIL, INTERNET AND OTHER SCAMS

Conference deplores the increasing incidence of mail, internet, phone and other scams aimed specifically at vulnerable elderly people. Tragic tales of elderly people sending off hundreds or thousands of pounds to bogus competitions, lotteries etc on the promise of a large cash prize are all too prevalent, and seem to be on the increase. Conference […]

Social Care

Conference condemns the continuing drive towards further privatisation and fragmentation of social care services but welcomes genuine initiatives to improve standards of care to service users. In this respect the use of personal care budgets as a source of greater independence and control for service users merits investigation. However, Conference views with concern that this […]

Academies

This Local Government Service Group reaffirms its opposition to the Government’s academies programme. We note with concern the Government’s plan to increase the number of academies to 400. We believe that this expansion will lead to the increased privatisation marketisation of education and encourage the development of the two tier workforce. The government is putting […]

School Staff National Negotiations

Conference is aware that there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of support and professional staff employed in schools over the last 5 years. In addition, their roles and responsibilities have also increased however pay has not always kept place with this. Conference notes the Secretary of State, Ed Balls’, announcement last autumn, […]

The Equality Duties

Conference recognises that the Public Sector Equality Duties are a real opportunity for progress on equality in local government and welcomes the recent UNISON guidance on using the equality duties and the development of UNISON’s own equality scheme. The EOC (now EHRC) Guidance code lists key employment issues that should be considered by public authorities […]

Pay for Local Government Workers Covered by the National Joint Council (NJC)

Conference condemns the Government proposed 3 year 2% public sector pay ceiling. With inflation at more than 4% for the past year this is effectively a pay cut and at the same time pay rises in the private sector are running at 3.5% – 4%. Conference also condemns the blatant hypocrisy demonstrated by a majority […]

Local Government Reorganisation

High quality public services can be delivered through two-tier or unitary local government structures where supported by adequate resources, a fairly paid and properly developed workforce, and a healthy respect and enthusiasm for democratic accountability to the local community. Proposals to create new unitary authorities should therefore be rigorously assessed to evaluate the level and […]

The Two Tier Workforce and Review of Best Value

Conference notes the statutory guidance on ‘Safe, Strong and Prosperous Communities’ which replaces existing guidance from 2003 on ‘Best Value’. The sections which deal with workforce issues – including the ‘Best Value Code of Practice on Workforce Matters’ on the two tier workforce – are also withdrawn and replaced. The Best Value Code followed the […]

Shared Services

Conference notes: 1.that current government policies envisage a major expansion of collaboration and shared services to both ‘join-up’ delivery and to meet the requirements of harsh efficiency savings, affecting all parts of the UK and this especially impacts on members in local government.. 2.that Government policy is pushing an agenda of shared services as part […]

INCREASE IN THE BASIC STATE PENSION AND RESTORATION OF THE LINK TO EARNINGS

Conference regrets that in his March 2008 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, again failed to increase the basic state pension to restore its value if the link to average earnings had not been broken by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government. Pensioners should have an immediate rise now to restore the pension value and […]

IMPROVING PROMOTION OF RETIRED MEMBERS’ ISSUES/CAMPAIGNS WITHIN UNISON

Conference whilst accepting UNISON needs to prioritise working members’ issues, regrets the minimal support given to retired members in UNISON publications as well as the failure of some branches to maximise the potential of their retired members. Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee and calls on the National Executive Council to urgently address these […]

COMMISSIONER FOR THE ELDERLY

At the 2007 Retired Members’ Annual Conference, an Emergency Motion was carried, with the third highest support, calling for a single Government Minister for responsibility for the Elderly. Since then a Commissioner for the Elderly has been appointed for Wales, by the Welsh Assembly, with responsibility for ensuring all aspects for the elderly receive appropriate […]

INADEQUATE AGE ADDITION TO STATE PENSION

The age addition to the over 80s was first introduced in 1971. The value was set at 25p representing 5% of the weekly State Pension of £5. It was a welcome addition. If it had risen relative to the State Pension it would now be worth about £4.50 a week. The mighty amount of 25p […]