Cuts and Funding for Local Government

Conference is alarmed by David Cameron’s statement that Coalition government policy “…means something more profound. It means building a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently” and by the further cuts to local government planned by George Osborne beyond 2015/16. Conference notes with alarm that: 1)Catastrophic […]

Administration of Medicines in Schools

Conference notes that discussions continue with governments across the UK on responsibility for administration of medicines and medical procedures in educational settings. Employees whose contract includes the administration of medicine and/or health care tasks should receive specific, regular training and be indemnified by their employer against any allegation of negligence, which enables them to feel […]

Cuts in Youth Services

Conference notes that under the Conservative-led Government, massive cuts have been made in youth and community services. In a survey of UNISON members carried out in 2013, 89% of respondents reported that their local authority had cut services for young people. And according to responses to a Freedom of Information request by UNISON at the […]

Contempt of Court Attacks on Social Workers

Conference is deeply concerned about recent events in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland where contempt of court proceedings have been brought against social work staff as individuals whilst acting in their social work role to fulfil their statutory duties consistent with their codes of practice. Social work members have an overriding legal duty to ensure […]

Nursing Workforce – Safe Minimum Staffing Levels

UNISON has long been concerned with inadequate staffing levels on hospital wards leading to compromised patient care. This was borne out in the Francis Inquiry and Keogh reports. The shortages of Registered Nursing Staff, appropriate skill mix and overall staffing levels to carry out the fundamental care of patients is now at crisis levels. Despite […]

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 […]

The Disproportionate Impact of Cuts on Women

Conference values local government’s history as an important part of the gender equality movement, acting as a key employer for women. Women make up 65% of local government staff and many of those women are low-paid and working part-time. Women are also more likely to use public services than men, and use them more intensively […]

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 […]

Cuts to Further Education

The school system enjoys some measure of protection because of its compulsory nature and political interests. Over £1 billion has been spent on the establishment of academies, with little proven worth and sparse support outside of a doctrinaire cabal. Universities enjoy the respect generated by their hallowed halls and political alumni. Colleges have twice as […]

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 […]

The Challenge of Recruiting and Organising in a fr

Our NHS is facing the biggest threats in its 65 year history. The impact of the Health and Social Care Act is being felt across all four countries and austerity measures, reorganisations, funding cuts and freezes that are being imposed by the Westminster Government has led to increasing fragmentation of health services. Since 2013 when […]

Ethical Care Campaign and Living Wage

Conference welcomes the progress of the Local Government Service Group’s Ethical Care Campaign. The campaign highlights how low wages and poor terms and conditions for workers undermines the quality and safety of the service and the dignity of service users, and urges local authorities to sign up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter. The Charter addresses […]

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 […]

Zero Hours Contracts in the NHS

UNISON research into zero hours contracts shows that more than 40% of care workers are on these contracts. Activists are reporting that more employers are using zero hours contracts more widely across the NHS. This also includes operational service staff. Zero hours contracts are imbalanced and the employer reaps all the benefits. Members are asked […]

YOUNG WORKERS, APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES AND WORK EXP

YOUNG WORKERS, APPRENTICESHIP SCHEMES AND WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAMMES IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT Conference believes that there is a staffing crisis in local government, with around half a million jobs lost since the General Election in 2010 (mainly as a result of UK Government cuts in local authority funding). The cuts mean diminishing prospects for young people […]