Sharps injuries and ancillary staff

This conference would like to reiterate that within the NHS sharps injuries affect both clinical and non-clinical staff. Although injuries to nurses have understandably attracted the media attention (at least 4 UK nurses are known to have died from occupationally acquired blood borne viruses) cleaning staff are particularly at risk as it is they who […]

Health and welfare of ambulance members

The changing demands and nature of the ambulance service is threatening the health and welfare of UNISON ambulance service members. Our members accept that working for the ambulance service is a physically demanding and challenging role. However they also expect employers to do all they can to manage and where possible eliminate the risks to […]

UNISON – the union for ambulance staff

This conference notes the continued work of UNISON over the last twelve months on behalf of ambulance members including: • Supporting ambulance branches to recruit and retain members; • Promoting the profile of ambulance services and staff; • Developing a coherent position on strategic industrial relations and workforce issues whilst maintaining constructive partnership and working […]

The new operational services occupational group

Conference notes that the Ancillary and Maintenance and Administrative and Clerical sector committees will be merging to become the Operational Services occupational group. This new group covers a wide variety of different staff roles within the NHS all providing support services integral to high quality patient care. Many of our members within this occupational group […]

Challenging racism in the workplace

Conference notes with concern that recent research published this year by the University of Bradford which suggests that staff from Black backgrounds are “overrepresented in disciplinary procedures and that disciplinary processes are not being applied consistently within the NHS”. The finding that Black employees continue to face significant levels of discrimination and barriers to progression […]

Variable and zero hour contracts and the undermining of Agenda for Change

Conference will be aware that for some time we have seen an increase in zero hours or permanent variable hours contracts within the public sector. Employers within the Northern region have been using variable contracts as a means of compulsory redundancies. NHS Foundation Trusts are not the only ones using using zero hours or variable […]

Engaging with and influencing Health and Wellbeing Boards

Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are designed to be a forum for local commissioners across the NHS, public health and social care, elected representatives and patient representatives from local Health Watch to discuss how to work together to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for the people of their area. They are intended to provide […]

The future of nursing

Conference notes that many health employers across the UK continue to target the nursing wages bill for cuts, and are using unsustainable tactics, such as freezing posts, not replacing registered nurses when they leave or retire and converting vacant registered nurse posts to lower grades and lower salaries. In the meantime, student nurses are being […]

National bargaining – a strong and united voice

Conference notes the importance of national bargaining in the health service to ensure the delivery of equal pay and equality in terms and conditions for all NHS staff. It is important for all of us, but particularly so for minority groups of health service staff and those at most risk of experiencing discrimination, such as […]

The hidden cost of cuts undermines equality for women

Conference notes with concern the devastating impact of the cuts in the NHS, and the hidden impact on the earning ability and pensions of women NHS workers. As many as one in three women currently work in the public sector in the UK, and as the majority of both service users and providers, women will […]

Expose front line staff myth

Whilst Conference acknowledges and supports all the NHS staff who are involved in direct patient/client care and who are traditionally regarded as front line, we reject the government position that they are not affected by the cuts to our NHS with nurses, therapists etc. facing redundancy and service closures constantly. However, we also need to […]

NHS Staff and the European Working Time Directive

Workers in the NHS have always worked long hours with minimal breaks and the safeguards introduced by the European working time directive have often been either ignored completely or not enforced in many areas due to being short staffed or excessive workloads. There is now a move from NHS organisations to finally come into line […]

Retirement age for ambulance members

Ambulance staff work in uncontrollable and challenging environments. They are often subjected to abuse and injuries undertaking their duties. The Government doesn’t consider ambulance services to be emergency services and describes them as essential services. With the current proposed changes to retirement age this presents a difficult and a seemingly impossible challenge to our members […]

Flexible working option for all

Conference notes that despite numerous attempts to ensure that employers have a consistent approach to dealing with flexible working requests, there are still widespread differences. As a significant number of health staff are shift workers, and therefore more likely to require flexible working patterns, it is important we are able to address this issue. Particularly […]

NHS reforms – defending public health

The turn of the millennium is often said to have witnessed a second golden age for Public Health across the UK. In the late 1990s and 2000s new programmes, services and initiatives were commissioned and launched intended to improve the health of our citizens and more directly to reduce the growing health divide between the […]