Undermining of terms and conditions

UNISON in Northern Ireland represents thousands of workers in the education sector and plays a leading role at the regional bargaining tables on behalf of our members. These workers are the cooks, the cleaners, the maintenance and admin staff who are the backbone of the further education, primary and secondary school support services. Together with […]

Education funding formula

UNISON Northern Ireland is pressing for greater transparency in the Education Funding Formula. The funding of education in our region is as complex as the governance arrangements. The total amount to be spent on schools is called general schools budget and is made up of three categories of spending: 1)The aggregated school budget available to […]

Double jeopardy – the impact of local government cuts on women

Conference notes that the impact of austerity and cuts to local government funding is particularly hard on women – the workforce is predominantly female, many of whom who are low paid. Conference also notes that there is a double jeopardy for these women. As well as bearing the brunt of cuts in pay, terms and […]

A breakthrough in tackling stress and bullying/harassment

Conference understands that work-related stress is a top concern of local government members. The 2018 TUC survey of safety reps confirmed that stress, bullying/harassment and overwork were the biggest three health and safety concerns. Conference notes that stress is not an inevitability; it is a consequence of the way work is organised and the way […]

Black members mentoring scheme in local government

With the continued cuts to local government and the disproportionate impact on Black workers, the national Black members committee are seeking to explore the opportunity for young Black members to be paired with more experienced activists to enhance the work of the union in the ‘Year of Young Workers’ Conference, UNISON has about 63,000 young […]

Bring back the Education Maintenance Allowance

Conference notes that education is the key to improving life chances. Yet, to be able to take advantage of the many opportunities that education can bring, young people need to be able to afford basic resources to enable them to fully participate. The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) was a means-tested allowance of between £10 and […]

Income generation

As part of UNISON’s campaign against austerity cuts, UNISON Renfrewshire has been working on a project of income generation and job creation to improve services for the local community. The first part of the project, the creation of resident’s funeral scheme, has been approved by Renfrewshire council. This scheme would reduce the average cost of […]

Social care cuts

This service group conference notes with deep concern the disastrous effects of massive funding reductions for social care services, with spending on these services being forecast to fall below 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. The appalling effects of these cuts are increasingly experienced on a daily basis by UNISON members working in […]

Negotiating disability leave policies with local government employers

Disability leave is time off from work for a reason related to someone’s disability. It is an example of a reasonable adjustment which local government employers have a duty to provide to disabled staff under the Equality Act 2010. It is different to sick leave – in many cases the worker is not actually sick […]

Exemptions from hot-desking – a reasonable adjustment for disabled workers

Since 2010 local government has faced swingeing budget cuts as part of central government’s austerity agenda. This has led to many councils introducing hot-desking in order to reduce their premises costs. Workers no longer have a fixed desk but instead have to find an empty desk every day. Conference is concerned about the impact of […]

Cuts to pastoral support in schools

A recent UNISON survey of staff who provide pastoral support for pupils raised significant concerns at the impact of cuts to services. Support staff are often trusted adults and confided in by pupils about a huge range of welfare issues, from parental separation, bereavement and caring responsibilities to bullying, eating problems and suicidal thoughts; regardless […]

Facility time

Trade union facility time is one of the basic and most vital building blocks for local trade union organisation, and it is also of enormous benefit to employers. Since 2010, many local authorities have cut facility time significantly, sometimes driven by ideology and sometimes by cuts in funding. Conference notes that in December 2018-January 2019 […]

Libraries at breaking point

Conference is deeply concerned at the state of our public library service. In 2017-18 alone, spending by local authorities on public libraries fell by £30 million. The service lost 712 full-time equivalent posts and suffered a net loss of 127 service points. Volunteer numbers rose to a staggering 51,394 volunteers putting in 1,780,843 hours. Our […]

Local service champions

Local government is a diverse network of roles and services that all work together to keep our local communities going. Local government workers have a vital role to play in this, working tirelessly to support the public in their everyday lives. They are true local champions, sometimes working ‘behind the scenes’ to make sure our […]

Crisis in social care

Conference recognises that the crisis in social care continues apace across the UK as councils suffer the consequences of almost a decade of underfunding. According to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, £7bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010. UNISON members have spoken out about the impact of cuts on […]