Trading Through Austerity

Conference condemns the continued attacks on the funding of local councils, which are destroying local services, threatening community cohesion and threatening our members’ jobs and income. They represent the biggest threat to locally provided services, controlled by democratically elected councils. Whilst acknowledging that councils face difficult decisions as to what can be done, most local […]

Organising in FE Colleges

Conference notes that whilst UNISON represents 30,000 members working in further education and sixth form colleges across the UK, our members work in a variety of roles, including: training and assessment; technical; library services; facilities; administration; specialist learning support, curriculum support; catering; IT, data; finance, procurement, we note the threat they are under. There continues […]

LGBT Workers and Social Care

Conference notes with alarm that the crisis in social care continues to grow. Councils have been forced to make cumulative savings in adult social care from 2010 to 2017 of £6.3 billion and the annual local government finance survey published in February 2018 indicated that 40% of council budgets for 2018/19 will see spending on […]

Trans Equality is Everyone’s Concern

Conference notes that despite lack of data collection by many local government employers on the experiences of trans staff, we know that they experience disproportionate levels of harassment and discrimination. A 2017 TUC report showed that 48% of trans workers had experienced bullying and harassment, compared to a third of non-trans workers. Our most recent […]

Youth and Community Workers

Conference notes that youth and community workers do a vital job in our communities, providing real and long-lasting benefits for young people. While some public services step in when problems occur, youth services prevent so many difficulties from occurring in the first place. UNISON members in youth services help young people to lead positive lives […]

College Governors – Transparency and Accountability

Conference notes that colleges in England and Wales are required to have student and staff representation on the college’s governing body. Governors are responsible for overseeing the successful running of the college including: 1)Approving the quality strategy; 2) Ensuring solvency, the effective and efficient use of resources and the college’s sustainability; 3) Approving annual estimates […]

Maternity Rights

Since the Tories have been in power, employment laws have become lax and used by employers to stifle members. Basic principles are failing to be followed resulting in many women being discriminated against. This is often the case during pregnancy and the maternity period (which includes breastfeeding). More and more frequently employers are failing to […]

Proper Funding for Further Education – Skills, Pay and Free Education

Conference notes with concern that the funding crisis in post-16 education continues. This means further cuts to courses, rising class sizes and, potentially, college closures unless urgent action is taken. Colleges are at the forefront of delivering technical and professional education and training. Therefore, fair funding for colleges is essential for every community and for […]

Organising Occupational Groups

UNISON Renfrewshire recently held a successful summit for additional support needs assistants and home care staff. The purpose of the summit was to bring together two different occupational groups affected by similar issues, in this case administration of medicines, grading and working conditions. The Scottish Trades Union Congress was also involved in the event. Following […]

Henry VIII’s Cruellest Cut

We voted to leave the EU. Control over our laws, it was argued, would be returned to our Houses of Parliament and all our laws would be debated by our democratically elected Members of Parliament, with our democratic rights strengthened, not weakened. The proposed Great Repeal Bill, which will repeal The European Communities Act 1972, […]

Women and sickness absence

Conference notes that increasingly local government employers are penalising employees taking sick leave, and that women are disproportionately affected by the sickness absence schemes in use in local government that treat regular short periods of absence particularly severely. There are many women-specific conditions that fall foul of those penalties, including endometriosis, menorrhagia, menopause, PMS- related […]

“Say No” to National Assessment and Accreditation

The Conservative government is planning to introduce an accreditation system for children and family social workers which will undoubtedly put already stretched social workers under even more pressure to meet rising demands on services that protect Children and Young People (CYP). Conference notes: • Children’s services are in financial crisis. According to report in Guardian […]

Mental health and workloads in the council workfor

The Westminster government’s slash and burn response to the economic crisis, and their austerity measures have resulted in drastic financial cuts to local government. Council employers are being forced to make radical cost savings. It is no surprise that the first attacks being made are to staffing levels, and terms and conditions of employment. The […]

Raising the Profile of Local Government Workers

Conference notes that local government services too often suffer from a low profile, with little political or media understanding or support for the work local government employees do. There is not enough recognition for the work our members in local authorities and schools do. Often, members providing services in local government are not recognised for […]

Privatisation and bringing services back

Conference notes that privatisation and outsourcing is increasingly discredited. Up and down the country, councils of different political persuasions are bringing services back in-house, to save money and to end the in-built inflexibility of private contracts where the slightest change involves extra cost. An example of this inflexibility is the waste disposal contract in the […]