Zero Hours Contracts and Impact on Black Workers i

Conference deplores the rise of the use of zero-hours contracts in local government. Zero hour contracts are a throwback to the sorry days of casual labour waiting at the dockside hoping to be picked out for work. Working hours can become unpredictable, meaning no guaranteed wage to help people pay their bills or plan for […]

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 […]


Conference applauds the leadership and decision of the NJC Committee to ballot members for strike action starting on 10 July, following the derisory pay offer made by the Local Government Association on 21 March and the decisive vote by members to reject it in UNISON’s internal consultation. That every NJC region/nation returned a position to […]

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 […]

Campaign for Ambulance Workers Pension Retirement Age

Conference proposes that UNISON campaigns to bring front line ambulance workers pension retirement age in line with other emergency workers. Front line ambulance staff are soon to be expected to work until they are 67 years old, this is unrealistic bearing in mind the arduous and unpredictable nature of the work. Shift work and long […]

Resisting Downbandings/Pay Cuts.

Conference notes with alarm that the downbanding of NHS workers’, jobs has increased nationwide as more and more Trusts come under financial pressure. The downbandings may take place under the guise of service or skill mix reviews but in reality they are most likely to result in workers doing the same job for less pay. […]

Integration – Taking the Workforce With You

Conference notes that the integration of health and social care has become a key debate in the NHS across the UK over the past year. Conference notes that although only Northern Ireland has full structural integration of health and social care, governing parties from all political persuasions are pursuing integration policies in Scotland, Wales and […]

Legal Framework for Regulators

Following the publishing of the Francis, Keogh and Berwick reports into Mid Staffs it has become abundantly clear that much of the failures were organisational in nature. Further, that these failings in part were condoned by very senior and executive staff within that organisation. Clearly, the Government shows some recognition of the organisational failures within […]

Reclaiming the NHS Agenda for Workers and Users Alike

At the public launch of the World Health Organisation Europe Report on health inequalities in 2013, internationally acclaimed Chairperson, Professor Michael Marmot stated that, “The Conservative-led Coalition government uses the word ‘fairness’ as if it has no meaning at all. They cut the top rate of tax – and they call it ‘fair’. They cut […]

Career Pathways in the Ambulance Service

Conference notes with concern the negative impact job re-design and privatisation is having on career pathways in the ambulance service. The increased use of private ambulance companies in the provision of patient transport services (PTS) has seen significant numbers of UNISON members being transferred outside of the NHS. Not only does this represent a threat […]

Categorisation in the Ambulance Service

National guidelines state that at least 75% of the most serious Category ‘A’ 999 calls should be responded to within eight minutes (Red 1 target). But less than half of trusts are able to meet their target to reach the most critically ill patients within this time. These delays are caused by a range of […]

Access to Student Nurse Education Pilot

The current pilot arrangements for aspiring student nurses to experience 12 months work in an HCA role are a knee jerk response to the Francis Report, and fail to fully take account of current experiential learning which many students experience prior to commencing their formal studies. UNISON fully supports the principle of widening participation and […]

Learning and Partnership Working

Conference notes the hard work of the union in campaigning and working in partnership with NHS employers, the Department of Health, Skills for Health to improve training and make development opportunities available for NHS staff, particularly staff on lower bands, have paid off. Last year through partnership working the Social Partnership Forum Learning for Life […]

One Team – Caring for Patients

Conference believes that all health staff, regardless of their job role, play an important role in caring for patients. All NHS staff are part of one team delivering quality healthcare that puts patients first. Conference notes that our NHS operational services staff continue to bear the brunt of the cuts with figures showing that since […]

Mental Health Services

Conference notes that mental health accounts for 23% of the total burden of disease, yet receives only 13% of NHS health expenditure. It is predictable that in a recession, demand for mental health services rises, as the impact of austerity and welfare reforms, rising unemployment and increase in cost of living has a detrimental impact […]