The push for upper quartile – The ignored impact on employees

As conference will be aware Ofwat is pushing forward it’s vision for the water sector commencing in 2020. A major part of this is to push competition between the water companies harder than before. The phrase ‘upper quartile’ in now bandied about as the place to be and those who are not ‘upper quartile’ will […]

The Push towards Homeworking – ‘Good or Bad’?

Conference is aware that homeworking has increased substantially in recent years and is only going to continue in the future, as sector WET companies continue to cut overheads, save space, encourage flexible working and require an agile workforce. Yorkshire Water are currently encouraging their workforce (office based) to consider working from home at least 1 […]

Equality e-Learning within WET companies

All employees regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and any disability are to be treated equally and have equal access to opportunities. They must have a sense of belonging at work. They must feel respected and valued for who they are and have a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that they […]

Local Government and Devolution

Conference notes the ongoing devolution agenda across the UK nations – at national, regional and local government levels. While there are some welcome national government developments in relation to the Trade Union Act, health and social care integration and the treatment of the public service workforce in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are concerns […]

Protecting Education Support Workers’ Terms and Conditions Post Brexit

Along the 310 mile soft border on the island of Ireland a number of Northern Ireland schools attract pupils and workers from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In some circumstances the journey to and from their workplace is only a few miles. UNISON members working in support services in these schools have […]

Youth Services Essential in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland youth services are provided by a combination of statutory and voluntary resources. A budget of £38 million from the NI budget and administered by the education authority underpins these resources. UNISON members working across both sectors have been involved in discussions responding to a major review of youth services. Statutory services are […]

Disabled Workers at the Sharp end of the Housing Crisis

Conference notes the depth and scale of the housing crisis the UK is facing, a crisis that has been gathering for decades but which has reached a crescendo with the Conservatives’ ideological war on council housing. Thousands of UNISON members delivering housing services have seen their employers change from local authorities to housing associations and […]

Black Workers and In-work Poverty

Conference notes that despite efforts to bring further equality into society, evidence shows that Black workers are still being held back in the work place. Inequalities in employment and income persist, and for many Black workers, this impacts upon their standard of living and increases their experience of living in poverty. According to the Department […]

Zero Hours and Black Workers

In recent news it has reported that unemployment has hit a record low. What these statistics do not report is that a large proportion of this is because of the increase in zero hours contracts. Employers have increasingly been turning to zero hours contracts as part of the general attack on staff terms and conditions […]

Further Education Area Reviews – Protecting Disabled Workers’ Jobs

Conference notes the continuing impact of the area review process in post-16 education which has seen a wave of mergers (and failed mergers) across the further education (FE) sector. Further education has already lost around 30,000 experienced staff, half of whom are support staff, since 2009. The area review process has resulted in further job […]

Bargaining for good Mental Health policies in WET workplaces

Conference notes that our workplaces are changing, with members in Water, Environment and Transport (WET) facing increased workloads as targets are increased year on year and working conditions often deteriorate under TUPE transfers. These pressures have made the importance of ensuring good mental health in WET workplaces clear. At least one in four of us […]

Recruiting and representing disabled members in the WET sector

Conference notes that recruiting new members is a priority for UNISON. Increasing our density in Water, Environment and Transport (WET) will increase our bargaining power with management and help us get the best deal for our members at the negotiating table. Challenges in the WET service group, such as job cuts and TUPE transfers in […]

Working Together In Local Government

Conference notes UNISON’s Working Together guidelines and recognises the benefits of abiding by these guidelines. Ensuring all activists and members are aware of these guidelines gives everyone confidence to contribute and engage to their full potential which ultimately makes our union stronger. The Working Together guidelines remind all members of the importance of respect, accessibility […]

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 […]

Keeping Pay Equal

Despite longstanding UK and EU equal pay legislation, there are still women working in local government and private contractors providing local government services who are paid much less than they should be compared to men. Conference believes that changes are needed to make UK equal pay legislation more effective and that government austerity policy is […]