Tackling Stress in Water, Environment and Transport Workplaces

Conference welcomes the work done over many years by UNISON negotiators and representatives in water, environment and transport (WET) to highlight and tackle workplace stress. Conference is concerned that the current climate, with persistent threat to jobs, is placing particular stresses on WET members. There is micro-management, ever more pressure to meet targets, with fewer […]

Celebrating Eequality in WET Workplaces

Conference notes that workplace equality issues are often portrayed as problems, difficult to handle, a minority interest and all about discrimination and prejudice. Conference believes that equality is not a problem but rather is something to celebrate in our Water, Environment and Transport (WET) workplaces. By celebrating equality and celebrating diversity we can help end […]

Challenging Discriminatory Practices, Defending Public Services

Conference as well as forming a significant part of the public sector workforce Black people are also primary users of public services. Cuts to funding are closing services while putting significant pressure on those remaining staff, as well as community and voluntary organisations supporting Black people and other vulnerable communities at a time when they […]

Mental Health in Children and Young People

Mental health problems affect about one in ten children and young people. Mental illness come in may forms including depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives at home and at school, college or university. It can lead to self harm and suicide – particularly […]

Improved and More Effective Health and Social Care Regulation

Conference welcomes the move from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to invest more resources into the regulation of health and social care services. It also welcomes the return to a specialist form of inspections which UNISON has long called for. Although this change in inspection methodology is welcome it is vital that regulation of hospitals […]

Fighting the Cuts, Protecting LGBT Local Government Workers and Services

Conference welcomes the groundbreaking report into the effects of austerity on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers and service users, including local government workers, commissioned by UNISON’s National LGBT Committee and funded by the General Political Fund (GPF). The research, carried out by the well respected independent social research organisation NatCen, includes evidence of […]

Rewiring Public Services and the Local Government Workforce

Conference believes UNISON must have a vision for the future of local government services as well as pay and conditions and that achieving workforce involvement and buy in to the development of that vision will be crucial. Conference is concerned that there is no real mention of the workforce in the Local Government Association (LGA) […]

Getting Equality on the Bargaining Table and Winning it for Members

This Conference welcomes the work being done by the Business and Environment Equal Opportunities Working Group (BEEOWG) to promote the equalities agenda. Equalities have long been a priority with the WET Service Group. Within the WET service group we have a long and proud tradition of fighting for equality for all our members. Over the […]

Campaigning to Save Sure Start and Early Years Services

Conference notes the continued threat to Sure Start through imposed budget reductions nationally. There has been more than 500 Sure Start Children’s Centres closed, most during the first two years of this Coalition Government. While the Coalition Government’s continued austerity cuts are the catalyst for local councils to review the future of Sure Start Children’s […]

Union Learning Representatives

Conference recognises the important work that Union Learning Representatives (ULR’s) do throughout the UK in both in promoting learning at work, signposting members towards further education, advising on basic skills and working with employers to increase the skills of the workforce. The main role is helping individuals to overcome barriers which may prevent them getting […]

Pension Fund Trustees

Conference notes: a) Many funded pension schemes include provision for member nominated trustees. b) The financial crisis has highlighted the need for appropriate oversight and responsible management of workers capital. c) Proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme are likely to extend the rights of workers to be represented on pensions committees; d) In […]

Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Meat Inspection

Conference notes that the Food Standards Agency is too close to the food industry without being sufficiently robust in protecting independent meat inspection, despite the recent and ongoing horsemeat scandal. Conference recognises that de-regulation and privatisation is the preferred direction of travel of our government and the European Union (EU). This was clearly shown in […]

Review of Organisation and Branch Structure in the Environment Agency

Conference notes that: a) The existing branch structure within the Environment Agency was established at the time that the Environment Agency was created and was based largely on water company boundaries. b) The structure of the Environment Agency has changed significantly since this time and concern has been expressed that certain bargaining groups are no […]

The Gender Agenda

Conference notes with dismay that cuts to pay and terms and conditions in local government are hitting women hardest across the UK. Local government is a highly gendered workforce – seventy-six per cent of National Joint Committee (NJC) workers are women, over half of all jobs are part-time and women carry out 90% of those […]

Recruiting and organising under-represented workers

Conference notes that Water, Environment and Transport is the only UNISON service group where male members outnumber female. This is despite the predominance of women staff in the administrative and clerical roles, in common with the UK workforce as a whole. Women in any workforce continue to face discrimination in pay and access to training […]