HOUSING FOR OLDER PEOPLE

Conference notes that according to a report published by the Building Research Establishment “Homes and Ageing in England” more than 2 million older people live in homes that fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard, with 1.3 million in homes with a serious hazard resulting in additional and unnecessary costs to the NHS, particularly from […]

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSIONS – GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS

Conference notes that the government is proposing new Local Government Pension Scheme investment regulations and asset pooling. Whilst there could be advantages in the pooling of LGPS funds, should this go forward, the proposal also gives new power to the government to decide where council pension funds make investments. As such, Conference fully endorses UNISON’s […]

FRAUD AGAINST OLDER PEOPLE

We have taken this heading from the title of an evidence review commissioned by Age UK, and published in April 2015. The review is seen as a way of bringing attention to this problem at a time of increasing risk and vulnerability. It is suggested that, among other things, the recent reforms to private pensions […]

The Environment Agency and major flooding incidents

Conference commends the incredible amount of hard work carried out by Environment Agency employees, including many UNISON members, (and employees from other organisations with flood relief responsibilities) during the flooding which took place in the final days of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. As a service group we are very proud that our members […]

A stronger, growing Passenger Transport Forum

Over the last year UNISON has done a huge amount of work to save the Passenger Transport Forum (PTF) as a functioning negotiating body. In 2015, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) management gave notice to exit the negotiating element of the PTF, citing a need for greater “flexibility.” UNISON has a proud tradition of defending […]

Location tracking and Telematics in Water, Environment and Transport

Over the past decade, many employers in water, environment and transport have introduced tracking or “Telematics” technology in some form. This technology can track the location and movement of both vehicles and individuals in real-time, providing statistical and geo-locational information. Conference acknowledges that there can be some benefits regarding health and safety when this technology […]

Continuing to increase the participation of Black members in WET

Conference notes the resolution from last year’s WET conference to look at increasing Black member participation in the service group. When looking at measurements of engagement such as representation on branch and national committees and attendance at service group and Black members’ conferences the activism levels of Black members in WET remains an area of […]

Facility time

Conference, these are incredibly turbulent times in the public sector, especially those employers in the Water Environment and Transport Service Groups. Conference motions continue to reappear especially those of facility time, outsourcing and privatisation. Conference the nature of the barriers facing disabled workers is so diverse and complex this can affect how disabled people are […]

Stonewall workplace equality index

Conference notes that the charity Stonewall produces an annual workplace equality index, which it describes as an evidence-based benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) equality in the workplace. From 2016, they have pledged to also assess achievements and progress on transgender equality within the […]

Equal pensions for WET workers

Conference welcomes the growing recognition of same sex partnerships, including the 2005 Civil Partnership Act and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Acts that came into force in England and Wales and in Scotland in 2014. However, conference echoes UNISON’s condemnation of the inequality entrenched in these laws with regard to surviving partner workplace pensions. The […]

Working Time Regulations and the Water Industry

Conference notes that Working Time Regulations stipulate that workers must have: At least a twenty minute break if they work more than six hours a day; At least eleven hours rest between working days, and; at least an uninterrupted twenty four hour rest without any work each week or an uninterrupted forty eight hours without […]

Negotiating workplace domestic abuse policies

Conference notes that domestic abuse has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on business productivity and the UK economy. Government statistics demonstrate that: i. 1 in 5 women each year take time off work because of domestic abuse. ii. 2 in every one hundred will lose their jobs iii. of those who remain in […]

The impact of pension changes on workers in the WET sector

Conference notes that from 6 April 2016 the Basic State Pension and Second State Pension (S2P) will end and be combined/ replaced by a new State Pension. The majority of members in the WET service group are currently paying reduced rate NI Contributions because they are in a work place pension scheme that is better […]

Financial Negligence of Charities’ Trustees

Conference notes the report of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee into the collapse of the Kids’ Company charity. Criticism was singled out for the charity’s trustees and the Charity Commission. According to the report the valuable work of this charity, along with its “inspired and motivated employees” was let down by the […]

Protecting Pensions in the Water Industry

This WET Conference notes that adverse changes have recently occurred to defined benefit (final salary) pension schemes in Severn Trent, Dwr Cymru, Northumbria Water and United Utilities as a minimum. The Water Industry has been a licence to make money since privatisation in 1989 when Thatcher wrote off all the debts and remains a monopolised […]