Control of Risk and Hazardous Substances in Higher Education

Conference notes that Health and Safety has not been exempt from the government’s austerity cuts agenda. The continued drive to “cut red tape” has brought changes to both the way work environments and hazardous substances are classified. Conference welcomes the initiative to standardise substance labelling worldwide and agree that when it comes to health and […]

Equality rights and collective agreements in higher education

Conference notes that it was our union’s national collective bargaining that established many equality protections long before they were enshrined in law. For example, our predecessor unions secured recognition of same sex partners for the purposes of workplace benefits before workplace discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation was banned and many years before the first […]

University wholly owned subsidiary companies

Conference, higher education employers are increasingly using the creation of wholly owned subsidiary companies to transfer support staff to deliver services. This is being used as a way to externalise staff for the purpose of creating a two-tier workforce to undermine the terms and conditions of new workers and placing the pensions and other contractual […]

“Impact of Trade Union Bill on Higher Education”

Conference notes that the Trade Union Bill currently going through Parliament is the biggest attack on workers’ rights and civil liberties in a generation. The headline requirement of a 50% turnout for a strike ballot is well known but there are other more insidious and pernicious sections that will fundamentally affect the way that Trade […]

Defending Trade Union Rights in Higher Education

This conference notes: 1)The current political climate makes trade union activists more vulnerable to victimisation. 2)The Trade Union Bill being presented to parliament in autumn 2015 represents a significant attack on trade union rights. 3)That there is no longer a legal right for employees to be accompanied by a trade union representative at flexible working […]

Higher Education as a Service Group

Conference notes that: 1)The Higher Education (HE) Service Group is one of the seven service groups of UNISON. (The website quotes “Higher education – including teaching and support staff” 2)Members of HE within UNISON have a proud record of sharing experiences and learning the lessons of victories and defeats, despite some historic differences between pre […]

Reinvigorating Recruitment through Positive Policies on Free Education

Conference notes that: 1)The recent Labour leadership campaign, as a result of Jeremy Corbyn’s inclusion in the ballot and overwhelming victory, provided fresh opportunities for the labour movement and progressive forces to debate the way forward. 2)Central to the Corbyn campaign was a commitment to free education and abolition of higher education tuition fees. 3)This, […]

Voter Registration – Don’t let Students lose their Voice

Conference notes the following: 1)That the previous coalition government passed the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, which made provision for Individual Electoral Registration (IER). This will replace the previous electoral registration system, whereby one person was responsible for registering the entire household. 2)That the Tory government elected in May 2015 intends to pursue boundary […]

Don’t Do A Clegg!

Conference has long stood against the tuition fee model in higher education which has been used to marketise our workplaces, eroding terms and conditions, whilst unfairly burdening millions of young people with extraordinary debt. Conference notes that, as well as tuition fees being set to continue at £9,000 per year, and rise with inflation, the […]

Student workers

Conference is concerned at an apparently growing trend for universities to employ students in roles which are traditionally occupied by low paid women workers – jobs in cleaning, catering and clerical work. Conference is aware that many students are forced to work to support themselves and supplement their student loans. However, these jobs are often […]

Health Care for Young Black People

Conference is concerned that health services for the whole community are under sustained attack from wave after wave of austerity cuts. We know that Black communities take a disproportionate impact of these cuts There is growing alarm at the impact of cuts to mental health services for vulnerable children and young people. A recent annual […]

Labour Party reaching out to the Black Communities

This Conference notes that in his acceptance speech, Jeremy Corbyn promised that the Labour Party, with him as leader, will reach out to everyone in this country and nobody would be left on the side. The relationship between the Labour Party and Black communities needs to be a key focus of any and all steps […]

Black member involvement must be meaningful

Conference notes with some distress that despite the UNISON ruling which allows for the creation of Black members self organised groups, protected seats at the highest lay member level, fairness and proportionality rules for conference and numerous motions which promote the increased involvement of Black members throughout our structures, many Black members continue to report […]

Treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Asylum Seekers

Conference notes human rights abuse perpetrated within the country of origin of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who make asylum applications in the United Kingdom (UK). Many of these countries are Commonwealth members with strong historical links to the UK. If returned to their homeland, there would be a good chance these […]

Austerity – How much worse will it get for Black members?

Since the disastrous election of a majority Tory Government in May 2015 the impact of public sector and welfare cuts has worsened for Black people. The Tories first budget has deepened austerity with more than 1.25 million Black households and 4 million Black people worse off under the range of budget measures that will have […]