A LIVING PENSION

Conference notes that many older people are living well below the poverty level, which at present is £178 per week. The UK State Pension is rated as one of the worst in Europe. Pensions are not benefits but are in fact deferred wages from previous National Insurance payments and deductions from work and taxable income. […]

END OF LIFE WITH DIGNITY

Conference notes that retired people in later life face challenges not previously encountered due to longer life expectancy enabled by medical advances. The Dignified Code produced by National Pensioners Convention calls for individuals to have freedom and choice for personal wishes to be implemented when individuals are no longer able to express themselves. Conference recognises […]

WALKING FOR PENSIONERS

It is widely recognised that walking is an activity that has great health benefits for pensioners. It is free, available to everyone and can be a pleasant social recreation. Medical advice is that walking can improve balance, strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of falls. Living Streets is the national charity that stands up for […]

DON’T CUT CARE

Day to day tasks that many of us take for granted – like getting dressed, using the toilet, washing, making a meal, or getting out to the shops – can be almost impossible for many of our members without help. Older people should be able to live well, not just survive and the right care […]

FIGHT AGAINST THE ABOLITION OF ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE

Conference will doubtless be aware of the proposals by the government to devolve Attendance Allowance (AA) to local authorities. This would shift the responsibility for welfare policy from central to local government, representing one of the biggest shifts of resources within the welfare state for 25 years. At present AA is paid to 1.5 million […]

RETIRED MEMBERS AT SOG CONFERENCES

Following the rule change at National Delegate Conference 2014 Conference appreciates the inclusion of retired members at self-organised group (SOG) conferences and our involvement in this important aspect of UNISON’s structure. However Conference is concerned that, unlike all other groups attending SOG conferences, retired members are the only group not entitled to submit motions and […]

EQUAL RIGHTS OVER INHERITANCE

Conference notes that in a recent survey, 51% of the population prefer to remain living together in long-term relationships without feeling the need to go through a ceremony of marriage. If UNISON members reflect society, then this would mean over half a million members, including retired members, will find themselves in this position. There is […]

HOUSING FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Conference notes that according to a report published by the Building Research Establishment “Homes and Ageing in England” more than 2 million older people live in homes that fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard, with 1.3 million in homes with a serious hazard resulting in additional and unnecessary costs to the NHS, particularly from […]

FRAUD AGAINST OLDER PEOPLE

We have taken this heading from the title of an evidence review commissioned by Age UK, and published in April 2015. The review is seen as a way of bringing attention to this problem at a time of increasing risk and vulnerability. It is suggested that, among other things, the recent reforms to private pensions […]

The Environment Agency and major flooding incidents

Conference commends the incredible amount of hard work carried out by Environment Agency employees, including many UNISON members, (and employees from other organisations with flood relief responsibilities) during the flooding which took place in the final days of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. As a service group we are very proud that our members […]

Location tracking and Telematics in Water, Environment and Transport

Over the past decade, many employers in water, environment and transport have introduced tracking or “Telematics” technology in some form. This technology can track the location and movement of both vehicles and individuals in real-time, providing statistical and geo-locational information. Conference acknowledges that there can be some benefits regarding health and safety when this technology […]

Facility time

Conference, these are incredibly turbulent times in the public sector, especially those employers in the Water Environment and Transport Service Groups. Conference motions continue to reappear especially those of facility time, outsourcing and privatisation. Conference the nature of the barriers facing disabled workers is so diverse and complex this can affect how disabled people are […]

Stonewall workplace equality index

Conference notes that the charity Stonewall produces an annual workplace equality index, which it describes as an evidence-based benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) equality in the workplace. From 2016, they have pledged to also assess achievements and progress on transgender equality within the […]

Negotiating workplace domestic abuse policies

Conference notes that domestic abuse has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on business productivity and the UK economy. Government statistics demonstrate that: i. 1 in 5 women each year take time off work because of domestic abuse. ii. 2 in every one hundred will lose their jobs iii. of those who remain in […]

The impact of pension changes on workers in the WET sector

Conference notes that from 6 April 2016 the Basic State Pension and Second State Pension (S2P) will end and be combined/ replaced by a new State Pension. The majority of members in the WET service group are currently paying reduced rate NI Contributions because they are in a work place pension scheme that is better […]