Localism Bill, Religious Exemption and Discrimination

Conference notes that: 1.The Localism Bill is aimed at ‘a radical shift of power from Westminster to local people, increasing citizen participation, promoting community ownership, lifting inspection burdens on councils and removing regional government’. 2.The ‘Community Right to Challenge’ is presented as a measure to encourage the involvement of charities, social enterprises or employee mutuals […]

Fighting To Defend Members’ Pension Rights

Conference notes with extreme concern the decision by Severn Trent PLC taken in May 2011 to give notice of its intention to close the final salary based Severn Trent Water Pension Scheme. Sadly most water companies have already closed their final salary schemes to new members with just one small water supply company, Cambridge also […]

Emergency Motion – Government Green Paper -A State pension for the 21st Century – implications for occupational pension schemes in the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group.

“Conference notes that the publication on 5 April 2011 of the Government Consultation Document – “A State pension for the 21st Century” will have significant implications for members of all occupational pension schemes in the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group. The increased National Insurance costs to employers and employees inherent in the Government’s proposals […]

Building Campaign Alliances Against Privatisation, Fragmentation and Cuts in the NHS

This Conference confirms UNISON’s total opposition to the ConDem Coalition’s White Paper – “Liberating the NHS”. If implemented, this would lead to the destruction of the NHS as we know it. The coalition government has no democratic mandate for its attacks on the NHS. It was not in any election manifesto and there has never […]

NHS Pay

Conference believes that the policies of the Coalition government pose the greatest threat to living standards of health workers of any time in the 63 years of the NHS. Whereas the Labour government recognised the value of national NHS pay, terms and conditions based upon equal value and fairness, the Coalition government is pursuing policies […]

Representing and Organising Health Members in the Private and Voluntary Sector

Conference notes with concern the growing number of NHS staff and UNISON members transferring to the private and voluntary sector under the Transforming Community Services programme, other NHS re-organisations, and the government’s agenda to shift to “any willing provider” for patient services. Lines of accountability will become increasingly blurred which will negatively impact on staff, […]

Hutton Report on NHS Pensions – Pay More, Work Longer, Get Less

Conference notes the withdrawal of motion 29 on pensions which means that there is nothing on Conference agenda to allow debate on crucial matters relating to NHS pensions. This motion highlights concerns around a number of the proposals in the Independent Public Service Pensions Commissions final report (the Hutton report) published on 10 March 2011. […]

National Blood Service

This conference is appalled at the news leaked on 17 February that the Department of Health is considering the privatisation of parts of the national blood and transplant service. If implemented, it would surely be the first step in the privatisation of the whole service. The blood and transplant service relies upon the millions of […]

Save Our Buses

Conference welcomes the launch on 1 February 2011of Campaign for Better Transport’s new campaign ‘Save our Buses’. The campaign has been initiated due to the increasing number of local authorities who are looking to save money by reducing the number of socially necessary and school bus services they support because of cuts to government funding. […]

Absence management – HIV and other disabilities

Conference notes employer duties to make reasonable adjustments in their management of disabled employees who are absent from work as a result of their disability. We call on Water Environment and Transport (WET) employers to take their responsibilities seriously, and to pay specific attention to employees living with HIV. Many WET employers are scared or […]

Tackling LGBT discrimination from water, environment and transport customers, colleagues and members of the public

Conference welcomes the 2010 Equality Act – one of the last Labour government’s final pieces of legislation. This provides a wide ranging basis for negotiating in our water, environment and transport (WET) workplaces. It places a duty on every employer, whether in the private or public sector, to protect their employees from discrimination from colleagues, […]

Cross-functioning across Clean and Waste Sites.

The latest reorganisations within several of the water companies seem to have turned the clock back and brought clean and waste water operatives working together and cross functioning across sites. This seems to us to be a backward step. The risk of contamination to workers and the public was a major reason why these streams […]

Increase to Retirement Age

With this current Government being hellbent in increasing retirement ages until we drop, companies in the Water, Environment and Transport sector like others may invoke ‘capability’ to get rid of older workers. They tend to be higher paid with better terms and conditions and more likely to ‘challenge the system’ than younger workers. All workers […]

Aerosol Formation

0Although most of our companies that treat waste are phasing out the paddle rotation systems in the Activated Sludge Process and replacing them with the more efficient diffused oxygen technique another hazard involving aerosol formation is entering our workplaces. This is the composting of sludge waste and green waste to sell as garden compost and […]

Single Operator Manning.

Many of the assets of the Water Companies are large and situated in isolated locations. This is particularly true of sewage works which were deliberately built well away from populated areas. However this isolation now put our operatives at risk as these sites have copper cable, stainless steel screens and lots of metal equipment that […]