Disabled members and facility time

Conference is concerned to hear that facility time within the Energy Sector is being diminished. This particularly affects many representatives who are call takers, this is an occupation undertaken by many disabled members, who are already struggling to meet their targets / attendance due to their disability. Declaring your disability can be a scary thing […]

European Works Council in Iberdrola

Conference Notes 1)The increasing domination of the UK energy market by European based multinational energy companies and the detrimental impact this has on the influence national trade unions can bring to bear in representing their members. 2)The legal obligations on European companies to establish European Works Councils (EWC’s) to give a voice to employees where […]

Women Apprentices

Conference notes the much lower number of women who become apprentices in areas such as engineering, construction and information technology, and that occupational segregation within the energy sector is widespread. Whilst there are apprenticeships available for women, female dominated areas tend to offer lower wages and less chance of career progression, therefore women apprentices are […]

Campaign Against Polymer

This Water, Environment and Transport Conference is aware of the ever increasing number of incidents in United Utilities and presumably other Water Industry employers involving polymer. Polymer is a very sticky substance and once it gets onto the soles of boots is not easily removed. This makes walking on certain surfaces very hazardous and increases […]

Living Wage for Employers within WET

This Water, Environment & Transport Conference congratulates South East Water and its UNISON negotiators on being the first known employer in our Service Group to adopt the living wage. We call upon the WET Executive to produce appropriate communication materials for branches in the WET Service Group to use in pay claims and/or in other […]

Ergonomic Risks to Water Field Based Employees

Recently, Thompsons Solicitors won an out of court settlement against United Utilities for an undisclosed sum on behalf of a UNISON field based Water Inspector member. For several years, this member had used his Toughbook laptop computer in his small works van receiving and sending work on a job by job basis to his central […]

Rise of Racism in the UK

Conference, a recent study commissioned by NatCen, an organisation which looks into British Social Attitudes has overwhelmingly established that racism is on the rise. While thirty per cent of Britons described themselves as having “very or a little prejudice against people of other races”, the survey also outlined that attitudes have changed since the 1980’s […]

ROTHERHAM

Conference is appalled at the cases of grooming and sexual abuse in Rotherham. While we do not know the true scale the independent enquiry into Child sexual exploitation in Rotherham led by Alexis Jay gives a conservative estimate involving approximately 1400 children, adding: “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that […]

POLITICS AND BLACK COMMUNITIES

Black communities must reject the economic policies of the coalition government. Austerity cuts continue to significantly impact on Black people and we cannot sit back and see our basic human rights eroded due to the colour of our skin. Conference, too often the colour of your skin determines your life chances and Black communities continue […]

HIDDEN DISABILITIES

Conference notes with concern the issues faced by our Black members living with long term conditions and hidden disabilities such as Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) more common in Black women, Sarcoidosis and Sickle cell. The fact that these conditions are not obvious can cause members to have their complaints for sick leave and requests for […]

DEFINING BLACK

Conference, despite the work done by the National Black Members’ Committee in producing a definition of ‘Black’ in UNISON in 2013 there continues to be questions about using ‘Black’ when addressing Black members. We have also found that branches and Regions in the union continue to use other definitions when describing ‘Black’ members, such as […]

BLACK LGBT ASYLUM SEEKERS

Conferences is concerned to hear that homosexuality is criminalised in 76 countries in the world, including 40 African countries, and society persecutes and discriminates against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans (LGBT) people in even more countries. In July 2011 it was reported that the Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma had spoken out against discrimination towards […]

BLACK WOMEN AND FIBROIDS

Conference, fibroids are small benign tumours that grow on the walls of the womb, inside and out, and can range from a single growth to multiple. For most women they give no cause for concern and grow unnoticed. But for others, the genetic disorder can mean heavy and painful periods and lead to fatigue and […]

ENCOURAGING BLACK WOMEN MEMBERS IN BRANCH

Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”. However, Conference is disappointed to hear that many Black women members and activists are not taking up the opportunity to attend UNISON training courses. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there are two reasons for this. Firstly, it […]

UNDERSTANDING UKIP’S DAMAGING POLICIES

Conference notes with concern the rise in support for UKIP, especially in the lead up to the 2014 Local and European Elections, the Newark by-election and now in the lead up to the 2015 General Election. Conference we have all heard UKIP’s hostile immigration, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic and Islamophobic views. We further note that […]