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 […]

Local Government Apprentices

Conference acknowledges there will be considerable growth in the number of apprentices employed in local government as a result of the apprenticeship levy, as well as the provisions of the Enterprise Act around apprenticeship targets for public sector bodies. Conference recognises the good practice that exists in some local government branches, who not only recruit […]

“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 […]

Housing

Conference notes that cuts to investment in social rented homes and instead promoting of home-ownership options such as shared ownership, starter homes and Help to Buy. This has led to a year on year drastic decline in the social housing sector since 1979. Housing policies have led to a 97% drop in the number of […]

Increasing participation of young members

The last general election saw thousands of young people registering to vote for the very first time. Youth engagement with politics led to a change in the political landscape. Subsequent debates amongst MPs has shown them that the issues important to them will be taken up by politicians when there is strength in numbers. While […]

We Need Pay Ratios in Higher Education (HE)

Conference notes: 1)By the end of 2017, members in Higher Education will have lost the equivalent of one fifth of their pay since 2009/10. 2)At the same time, Senior Managers have seen their salaries consistently increase above the rate of inflation, with twenty-three Vice Chancellors taking an increase of 10% or more last year. Conference […]

Engaging Higher Education members for LGBT equality

Conference welcomes the high level of engagement of Higher Education (HE) members in UNISON’s second equality survey, conducted summer 2017, which gives useful insight into their experiences and involvement in UNISON. Conference also notes the responses from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members (LGBT), which reinforce the findings from the 2016 survey that LGBT members […]

Higher Education Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) data

Conference notes that good data is an important element in driving equality change. Data on its own is just information – it changes nothing. But it can provide evidence of failure and success and of change over time. For example, robust data has been vital in UNISON’s work, through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher […]

Fair pay in universities

Conference believes that there is an inherent unfairness in the way in which our universities are being run, and the way in which the most senior staff are being rewarded whilst UNISON members and staff working in support services are paying the price. Recent research in the Guardian revealed that among 17 university heads who […]

Pay and the Impact on Black Staff

Conference notes that staff, particularly Black staff have seen their living standards fall in recent years and many earn less than the living wage. A Trade Union Congress (TUC) report conducted in 2016 showed that Black workers face a “massive pay gap” which widens as they achieve more qualifications. The research by the TUC suggested […]

Brexit and our European Unions (EU) colleagues

Colleagues may recall the lacklustre support by the UK Universities for any position during the Brexit Referendum despite UNISON’s call to Vice Chancellors (VCs) to take a position to support EU staff and students. There are 45,000 EU citizens working in the Higher Education sector in the UK (11% of the Higher Education (HE) workforce) […]

No to a Hard Brexit

Our political landscape has become dominated by the referendum decision to leave the European Union. Whatever the specific position in January 2018, there are particular principles which will defend the rights and freedoms of both UK and EU nationals working in Higher Education (HE). At the time of writing we have not seen full details […]