Recruiting and organising under-represented workers

Conference notes that Water, Environment and Transport is the only UNISON service group where male members outnumber female. This is despite the predominance of women staff in the administrative and clerical roles, in common with the UK workforce as a whole. Women in any workforce continue to face discrimination in pay and access to training […]

Getting Equality on the Bargaining Table and Winning it for Members

This Conference welcomes the work being done by the Business and Environment Equal Opportunities Working Group (BEEOWG) to promote the equalities agenda. Equalities have long been a priority with the WET Service Group. Within the WET service group we have a long and proud tradition of fighting for equality for all our members. Over the […]

Environment Agency Cuts

This Conference is alarmed at the scale of job losses that are ongoing within the Environment Agency. It notes that since the Tory led coalition came into power nearly 25% of the workforce will have been lost as a direct result of the Government spending cuts. These cuts are a disaster for our members, for […]

Social Tariffs

This Conference notes that the Water Bill has moved through its legislative cycle following much delay. UNISON has been totally underwhelmed with the Water Bill and its contents and does not believe that the continued drive to introduce competition is the panacea that is so often claimed. If we take a look at the Energy […]

Mitbestimmung in the Water Industry

Germany has recovered from the economic downturn of the past few years faster than most and shown sustainable growth year upon year despite major upheavals and changes such as re-unification. Many economists are convinced this is due to Mitbestimmung or Co-determination law. This law underpinning industrial and company policy in Germany requires that between a […]

Combined Authorities: Good or Evil?

Conference notes that over the last four years the Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs) and Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) have been encouraged to become Combined Authorities. Local councils in transport regions are being impelled by promises from central Government of greater local control and more funding to create these Combined Authorities to administer transport. Greater Manchester […]

Zero Hour Contracts

This Conference notes the insidious spread of zero hour contracts and the impact this is having of the employment, terms and conditions of UNISON members employed in the transport industry. Conference notes that recent media focus has brought the issue of zero hour contracts to the public attention. Recent CIPD research suggests that zero hour […]

Means Testing for Bus Passes

Conference notes the Government wants to take away the bus pass from pensioners and introduce means testing. The bus pass saves many people from isolation and exclusion and is far more valuable to them than the cost to the Government of providing the passes. The future of pensioners’ bus passes is of particular relevance to […]

Public Conveniences

This Conference notes that in two years more than £10m has been cut from public spending on public conveniences in Britain, these cuts are posing potential risks to public health. In 2011/12 councils across England spent 13% less on maintaining and repairing public conveniences compared to the 2010/2011 financial year. Some councils are now spending […]

Utilities: Not for Profit and Alternative Company Models

In the face of ever rising water costs (water as well as gas electricity, telephone etc) to members, we call upon the WET Service Group Executive in conjunction with appropriate UNISON partners to debate the feasibility and implications of campaigning for a change towards “not for profit models” or other models for our water companies. […]

Mark Duggan Inquest

Mark Duggan a young Black man and father of 5 was shot dead by armed Officers in August 2011 in Tottenham, which sparked riots and large scale civil unrest across England. Following the inquest into his killing the jury found that Mark Duggan had thrown a gun from the vehicle he was travelling in just […]

LGBT Rights in India

Conference notes with alarming shock the ruling by India’s Supreme Court on December 11, 2013, that same-sex conduct between consenting adults remained a criminal offence. This is a setback for the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people. The court reversed a landmark 2009 Delhi High Court decision that a colonial-era law infringed […]

Hands off Universal Benefits

Conference opposes any attempts by Governments across the UK to cut universal benefits for older people such as the winter fuel payment, free bus pass, free prescriptions and free TV licences. These benefits are essential to ensuring a decent standard of living and social inclusion for millions of pensioners who face daily poverty, fuel poverty […]

Winter Fuel Allowance: Time for an Increase

Conference is very concerned that the Winter Fuel Allowance payments were included in the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s Budget statement on 19 March 2014, when he stated that benefits will be capped in 2015/16. The statistic (National Pensioners Convention) for the 2013/14 winter is that 31,000 pensioners died of cold-related diseases. The United […]

Threat to the Bus Pass and Universal Benefits

Conference is very concerned that the concessionary bus pass for pensioners is being attacked and no political party has stated that it will be retained after the 2015 election. Withdrawing the bus pass from pensioners will need another Act of Parliament (original Transport Act 2008) but that won’t stop this Government or any other one […]