UN Disability Convention

Conference notes that on 8 June 2009 th UK Government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This means that the UK is now legally bound by the Convention. The Convention is the first human rights treaty of the 21st Century, re-affirming disabled people’s human rights and signalling a further […]

British Sign Language access to Unison Website

Conference welcomes a more accessible and inclusive UNISON Website. Conference requests that the National Disabled Members Committee work with the ‘Webmaster’ to look at different access mediums and that British Sign Language as well as text to speech interpretation is included in the access options available to our members. BSL as well as text to […]

Access to Work

This Conference notes that many disabled people are unemployed and find it difficult to obtain work. Some employers, particularly those in the Private Sector, see disabled people as an ‘expensive’ choice due to the need for access arrangements. The current economic climate means that it is now even more likely that employers will not take […]

Self Directed Support and Protection of Disabled People and their Employees

This Conference welcomes the introduction of Direct Payments for disabled and older people which has taken place over the past few years, along with the recent pilots of Individual Budgets which increase choice and control for disabled and older people over the services they receive. However, we are concerned that there are insufficient safeguards to […]

Merger of the Water and Environment and Transport Service Group Executives

Conference welcomes the decision of the NEC to approve the merger of the Water and Environment and Transport Service Group Executives. Conference notes that the Executive’s planning for the merger of the two service groups was unavoidably delayed while the NEC consultation on the review of service groups took place. Consequently there has not been […]

Working Time Directive Opt Out

This Water and Environment conference notes the recent European Parliamentary decision to end the potential for opting out of the Working Time Directive. To ensure compliance when this becomes a reality all Water and Environment branches are encouraged to enter into early dialogue with their employer. This conference further calls on appropriate materials to be […]

Barriers to attending LGBT Conference

Conference notes the importance of our union’s conferences, both in their democratic policy making role and also for the way they inform and inspire activists to return, re-energised, to their local union work. Conference notes with regret that only a minority of water and environment branches send delegates to the annual UNISON lesbian, gay, bisexual […]

Communicating with LGBT Members

Conference notes that continuing levels of prejudice and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers means that a high proportion do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender history at work, there are also private individuals who consider their sexual orientation or gender history to be no one else’s business but their […]

Water and Sanitation as an Essential Public Service and the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Conference welcomes UNISON’s publication of the report ‘Sewerage Works’ and confirms its belief that sewerage has the potential to make a significant contribution to the sanitation needs of the many thousands of people living in urban squalor throughout the developing world. Water and Sanitation services are essential for life and it is universally accepted that […]

The OFWAT Price Review

Conference notes that the new OFWAT period of price review begins on 1st April 2010. Based on OFWAT’s interim determinations and the companies’ responses to them it appears likely that the next five years will witness the introduction of a tighter financial regime. This, combined with more pressure arising from the Cave Review, will lead […]

The Walker Review into Charging

Conference welcomes this review into the various options for the charging of water services. The UNISON report ‘Fair and Affordable Water’ made a strong case for the replacement of the existing system with a fairer, affordable more sustainable system for the future. Conference endorses UNISON’s submission to the Walker Review and its emphasis on the […]

The Cave Review on Competition and Innovation in the Water Industry

Conference endorses UNISON’s submission to the Cave review that set out the union’s opposition to the introduction of competition in the water industry of England and Wales. Conference is alarmed to note the interim recommendations of the Cave Review in support of a limited introduction of competition into the retail of bulk water to commercial […]

Joint Negotiations in the Environment Agency

Conference will be aware that within our service group, there is an Environment Agency (in England and Wales) Sector Committee. Additionally, there is a formal collective bargaining mechanism that is enshrined in the framework of the National Negotiating Group (NNG). From this joint group, there is a joint agreement called the Trade Union Recognition and […]

Imposition of Pay Awards

This Water and Environment conference congratulates Scottish Water branch on industrial action taken in opposition to an imposed pay figure by their employers which led to an acceptable pay offer. Other branches in Water and Environment are encouraged by this development and call on the national officers to produce a guidance document to assist branches […]

Supporting Our Members

During this credit crunch we are yet again seeing jobs disappear in our sector despite economic downturns having little detrimental impact on our business. Thames Water and the disgraceful treatment of its call centre staff is the latest example of an employer attempting to hike up already obscene profits. Conference is also appalled over the […]