Further education colleges should be the only provider of apprenticeships

Conference notes that the government drive to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in the UK is failing. In 2017 the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced – a charge of 0.5% of the salary bill of large employers which must then be claimed back to fund apprenticeship provision – simply isn’t being used by enough […]

A state of crisis in local government

UNISON Wales has been highlighting the damage being done to our communities through our Fair Funding campaign and Wales audit of austerity work which has highlighted that councils have lost over 28,000 jobs since 2010. The budget given to local authorities is an investment in local services, in prevention and early intervention work which ensures […]

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 […]

Tackling Racism at Work

Conference condemns the continuing rise is racism and fascism across the UK. Conference believes that those who face racism should be at the forefront of the campaign for race equality and that our self organised structures are integral to this work. Conference also believes that all members have a role and a responsibility to challenge […]

Rebuilding Collective Bargaining

Conference believes that collective bargaining coverage is crucial to the well-being of employees. Where pay and conditions are determined only by market mechanisms, employer discretion and legal minimums, employees invariably do not get a fair deal at work. Conference notes with concern that due to privatisation and outsourcing, a growing number of workers who deliver […]

Housing out of reach for public service workers!

This local government service group conference recognises that high housing costs and affordability are among the biggest issues facing the workforce in the south east and nationally, affecting where members can live, what they can access and what they can afford. According to the National Housing Federation, there was a shortfall of over 85,000 homes […]

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 […]

Gun and Knife Crime – Time to Stop the Senseless Killings

The number of deaths as a result of gun and knife crime in London, and inner cities across the country, continues to make the news with the number of innocent lives lost seemingly increasing on a daily basis. The right wing press claim that the situation is a result of ‘lawless Britain’ but the truth […]

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 […]

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 […]

Recruitment and Retention of Members

Conference notes with pride the increase in UNISON membership during 2018 and commends the effort made by branches and activists towards this significant achievement in the face of unrelenting Tory cuts to public services. Throughout the decade of austerity UNISON has managed to mitigate membership losses and recruit new activists through its key Meeting the […]

Nelson Mandela: Inspiring Future Generations

Conference notes that 2020 will be the 30 year anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from captivity. Conference believes that Mandela’s life, sacrifice and values are inspirational to us today in our struggle for justice and equality. Conference notes with pride the role of trade unionists in the Anti-Apartheid movement and that Nelson Mandela […]

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 […]

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 […]