Facility time in the Environment Agency

This conference is greatly concerned to learn of the Cabinet Office’s decision to extend its guidance on trade union facility time beyond government departments to non-departmental public bodies (NDPB’s) including the Environment Agency. UNISON is the biggest trade union in the EA and has had a key role in securing employment policies, terms and conditions […]

Ofwat Price Review 2015-2020

This conference notes that Ofwat has launched its price review policy for the period 2015 – 2020. The SG Executive responded to the consultation raising major concerns on a number of fronts: a)The failure to propose a national scheme for the introduction of social tariffs to protect the most vulnerable households from ever increasing water […]

The Impact of the Regulator on Pay and Conditions of Members in the Water Industry

Conference notes the critical role that Ofwat play in regulating the privatised water industry. It also notes that despite the role of the regulator, profits within the utility businesses have increased to record levels making the owners and key executives very wealthy. Despite the increased profits, members have seen their pay and conditions attacked over […]

Tackling transphobia in WET workplaces

Conference welcomes progress made by UNISON over many years in negotiating for equality in our water, Environment Agency and transport (WET) workplaces. However, conference is concerned that equality considerations fall down the agenda in the face of cuts, reorganisations and redundancies. Conference is further concerned that transgender workers face particularly extreme discrimination when seeking work […]

Tackling biphobia in WET workplaces

Conference welcomes the first ever UK-wide report on bisexuality, which was published by the Open University last year. Conference notes that even casual biphobia, too often pervasive and unchallenged, can make our workplaces hostile environments, where bisexual people are unable to work to their potential. The Open University report showed that: a)Bisexual people’s experiences differ […]

Cabinet Office Review of Facility Time

Under the Coallition Government workers in the public sector have faced attacks on their pay, pensions and working conditions on a scale unseen since the “Thatcher” years. Now the Cabinet Office is reviewing the amount of union facility time available in the Civil Service and Non-Government Agencies such as the Environment Agency. The review is […]

UNISON calling

Conference notes that in 2012, UNISON launched the call centre charter, which calls on all employers who have UNISON members working in a call centre or in call handling operations to commit to improving the standards which those staff operate under. Conference notes that the charter was primarily aimed at branches in the energy service […]

Motion 8. Service v Targets.

For call centre staff in our water companies it is becoming increasingly difficult to deliver a quality service to the public due to internal pressures to ‘get rid of’ callers as quickly as possible. If a caller rings up to say they have cellar flooding or sewage coming into their property they are in a […]

Motion 6. Water and the Future

With more of our companies imposing pay rises on our members, UU introducing spot rates and Scottish Water trying to get rises that are 100% performance based, it is obvious we are in for a rough ride in the not so distant future. Because we are higher paid than other groups in UNISON and the […]

Motion 4. Overseas suppliers

The larger water companies import much of their sewage and water pipes from Asia especially large diameter pipes used in capital schemes, in the case of Yorkshire Water from Kolkata in India via a UK subsidiary. This contract has been running for ten years. Our company has someone who monitors the contract and makes visits […]

Motion 3. Cost saving versus Risk

In these times of high energy costs water companies are embarking on initiatives to save money. This includes turning off sections of plant at times of the day when energy costs are highest. Because this at present tends to be for short periods after normal working hours the focus may be concentrated on how much […]

Motion 2. Hidden killers.

Having had a tanker driver repeatedly exposed to high levels of hydrogen sulphide whilst tankering sludge off at sewage treatment works, this has served to remind us of the risks posed to our members from dangerous gases. This member had his HGV and all other driving licences taken away by the DVLA as a result […]

Motion 1. Safety of Dig Teams

With ever more private companies laying electric cables and gas pipes on new build sites and companies being bought out or going bankrupt, the health and safety of dig teams on water contacts are being jeopardised because there is no central database. Buried services may belong to utilities, commercial sites, industrial sites or the military. […]

Lone Working Incident

Conference is aware of an incident that occurred in Scottish Water in 2012 which could have had very serious consequences. A Worker was lone working and left his mobile phone in his van while accessing a building which subsequently trapped him through a faulty door. It was several hours before this worker could be rescued […]

Near Fatality Following Confined Space Entry

This Conference is aware of an incident that took place on a water meter chamber in Slovakia which ultimately resulted in 1 of 2 water meter readers suffering brain damage which will likely prevent him from working ever again. Whilst most of the water industry in Great Britain follows the correct procedures in regards to […]