The role of markets in delivering Water Services

Conference notes that Ofwat in their publication Water 2020 have declared an intention to look to promote markets to deliver services in Water Resources and Bio-resources. Following the collapse of Carillion and the ramifications on public services is it not clear that a ‘markets’ based strategy could have similar devastating consequences for both the public […]

WET e-learning – is it up to the Job?

Quality training and development is important to our members. Yorkshire Water recently closed its training centre in favour of pushing more e-learning onto desktop PCs in the workplace. The list of benefits to WET companies is endless. Massive cost savings are achieved by closing training centres, no course materials, no travel time, less work disruption […]

Health and Safety Reps standby

This conference notes the ever-increasing need for safety improvements in the WET sector. Yorkshire Water Branch would like the sector to adopt the approach being taking at Kelda where we have formed a health and safety representative’s standby rota. It has been designed for union health and safety reps to get called out to investigate […]

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 […]

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 […]

Flexible working

Conference notes that the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees in 2014. However, the experience of reps and members within the water, environment and transport sector is that many employers are only prepared to agree to flexible working patterns for certain groups of staff, and then only on limited terms. Further, […]

Organising Young Members in the WET Service Group

This WET Conference recognises that young members are the lifeblood of our union and the future within the WET Service Group. We call on the WET SGE in conjunction with the National Young Members Forum and UNISON’s communications department to develop bespoke publicity and materials to retain existing members and recruit current non-members in all […]

Review of safety practices in the Water Industry

This 2018 WET Conference is aware of the disturbing number of accidents/incidents/near misses that continue to occur year on year in the Water Industry. One undeniable root cause is reducing staffing levels to the bare minimum as part of a risk management strategy which must continue to be opposed by UNISON. This Conference calls on […]

Sustainable Water at Work

This Conference calls upon the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group Executive to further develop the excellent “Water at Work” campaign that they launched in 2009, which sought to extend access to drinking water at work from mains supply sources. In order to keep workers healthy at work, we expect that all our employers covered […]

Under-Representation of Bus Sector

This Conference notes: a. The decline in UNISON membership in the Bus Sector. b. The difficulty in recruiting activists and forming viable Bus Sector branches. c. That to address the above, UNISON has increasingly moved members who work for bus operators into larger employer-led branches. d. That these decisions are determined locally based on the […]

Wheelchair Access on Buses

Conference notes the Supreme Court ruling in January 2017 on the FirstGroup V Pauley case, and the issue raised under the Equality Act 2010 for “reasonable adjustment” and whether a bus companies policy or “provision criterion or practice” (PCP) was been met in relation to wheelchair users. In particular, whether a bus driver should compel […]

Protecting National Collective Bargaining through the PTF

Conference notes that in recent months the employers at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) have made clear their intention to serve notice to withdraw from the Passenger Transport Forum (PTF). This is a consultative body for the Combined Authorities and PTE’s and also the […]

Call Centre Charter – how far have we come?

Conference notes the increasing numbers of our water, environment and transport members working in call centres. Call centres can leave workers chained to their workstations under extreme pressure to provide faster responses to more and more callers. Conference welcomes UNISON’s Call Centre Charter, launched in 2012, to seek to establish a decency agenda for these […]