Hands off Universal Benefits

Conference opposes any attempts by Governments across the UK to cut universal benefits for older people such as the winter fuel payment, free bus pass, free prescriptions and free TV licences. These benefits are essential to ensuring a decent standard of living and social inclusion for millions of pensioners who face daily poverty, fuel poverty […]

Winter Fuel Allowance: Time for an Increase

Conference is very concerned that the Winter Fuel Allowance payments were included in the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s Budget statement on 19 March 2014, when he stated that benefits will be capped in 2015/16. The statistic (National Pensioners Convention) for the 2013/14 winter is that 31,000 pensioners died of cold-related diseases. The United […]

Threat to the Bus Pass and Universal Benefits

Conference is very concerned that the concessionary bus pass for pensioners is being attacked and no political party has stated that it will be retained after the 2015 election. Withdrawing the bus pass from pensioners will need another Act of Parliament (original Transport Act 2008) but that won’t stop this Government or any other one […]

Communications

The National Retired Members’ Committee continues to work to ensure that the UNISON website serves as an efficient means of communicating with over 166,000 Retired members. It is vital that members are provided with information about campaigns that they can get involved with and the activities being undertaken by UNISON. Conference notes that since the […]

Equality for higher education workers when universities go international

Conference notes that universities are responding to restrictive border regulations, which damages their intake of international students, by opening campuses abroad and having collaborations with overseas universities. Many more are likely to join this trend. The universities and science minister has previously appealed to private investors to support overseas expansion for UK universities and stated […]

A Time to Change in Higher Education

Conference is aware that many people are affected by mental health conditions. It is concerning that nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. In supporting members, our activists have noted that many Higher Education employers are neither aware of nor prepared to support staff […]

Equality for trans workers in our higher education institutions

Conference notes with concern that transphobia and bullying and harassment of trans people is still far too commonplace in workplaces and society, including in our higher education institutions (HEIs). A recent Government Equalities Office survey found that nearly half of trans employees experienced discrimination or harassment in their workplaces and 88% said that ignorance of […]

Working in HE – The Hidden Costs

This Conference understands that recent pay awards in Higher Education have meant that many UNISON members working in this Sector are experiencing a decline in the standard of living for themselves and their families. Conference recognises that the real terms pay cut staff are facing is an issue in itself, but that UNISON members in […]

University Finance – we must take an interest and be vigilant

Conference in the light of the Browne Review of Higher Education finance and the Comprehensive Spending Review it was reported that HEIs will have to be very quick on its feet to avoid serious financial problems and potential bankruptcy as the cuts take effect and the impact of higher fees become apparent. Conference every year […]

Zero-Hour Contracts & Agency Workers

This Higher Education Conference notes: 1)The brilliant win by Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) Wigan Hovis workers against zero-hour contracts and the mistreatment of agency workers. 2)UNISON’s view that “zero hours contracts are not compatible with developing a professional workforce delivering quality services”. 3)Under the UK’s regulations which came into force in 2011, […]

JNCHES Pay 2014/15

Conference welcomes the decision by UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) to ballot members on the 2013/14 pay offer and the decision by members to take industrial action to substantially improve the offer. Conference believes that our fight for fair pay and conditions is part of UNISON’s fight against austerity and for an alternative […]

Poverty Pay Doesn’t Pay – the Living Wage in Higher Education

Conference applauds the successful implementation of the Living Wage that has been achieved at Exeter University, Wolverhampton University and Loughborough University amongst many. At Exeter University, the Students Guild has also agreed to implement the Living Wage which demonstrates that being a Living Wage employer is also about applying the same standard to services that […]

Zero hours contracts

Conference notes that as part of the general attack on staff terms and conditions that has accompanied the intensification of privatisation and cuts to funding across the public sector, employers including universities have increasingly been turning to zero hours contracts. Under these contracts, an individual typically undertakes to be available for work but the employer […]

Freedom of Information Requests

This conference calls on the Higher Education Service Group to lead and coordinate a systematic programme of submitting Freedom of Information requests to all relevant Higher Education institutions to identify the value of salary and wider reward packages offered to that institution’s senior management. Information gained should then be made available to local branches and […]

Thinning of the work force

This conference condemns the appalling practice over the past years of the employers to fail to demonstrate a true commitment to the hard working long serving staff of their institutions by throwing them aside and turning to external sources for staff to run services. Therefore conference calls upon the Higher Education Service Group Executive to […]