Use of consultants and day-rate contractors in the Water Industry

Conference notes that water and wastewater companies are increasingly using very expensive consultants and contractors – some on day-rates as high as £1,000 or more. This is especially prevalent in the run up to each five-yearly Price Review, the current one being towards PR19. The reasons given by the companies include: a. the low number […]

Zero hours and Black workers

Recent news has reported that the number of people that are unemployed has hit a record low. What these statistics do not report is that a large proportion of this is due to the increase in zero hours contracts. Employers have increasingly been turning to zero hours contracts as part of the general attack on […]

WET e-learning – is it up to the Job?

Quality training and development is important to our members. Yorkshire Water recently closed its training centre in favour of pushing more e-learning onto desktop PCs in the workplace. The list of benefits to WET companies is endless. Massive cost savings are achieved by closing training centres, no course materials, no travel time, less work disruption […]

Health and Safety Reps standby

This conference notes the ever-increasing need for safety improvements in the WET sector. Yorkshire Water Branch would like the sector to adopt the approach being taking at Kelda where we have formed a health and safety representative’s standby rota. It has been designed for union health and safety reps to get called out to investigate […]

The push for upper quartile – The ignored impact on employees

As conference will be aware Ofwat is pushing forward it’s vision for the water sector commencing in 2020. A major part of this is to push competition between the water companies harder than before. The phrase ‘upper quartile’ in now bandied about as the place to be and those who are not ‘upper quartile’ will […]

The Push towards Homeworking – ‘Good or Bad’?

Conference is aware that homeworking has increased substantially in recent years and is only going to continue in the future, as sector WET companies continue to cut overheads, save space, encourage flexible working and require an agile workforce. Yorkshire Water are currently encouraging their workforce (office based) to consider working from home at least 1 […]

Equality e-Learning within WET companies

All employees regardless of age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and any disability are to be treated equally and have equal access to opportunities. They must have a sense of belonging at work. They must feel respected and valued for who they are and have a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that they […]

London Housing Crisis

London Housing Crisis: Response to the UNISON Survey Report – No Place To Live – into the impact of Housing costs on London’s public service workers. This conference welcomes the publication in late November 2017 of UNISON’s Report into the impact of Housing costs on London’s public service workers. We are dismayed but not surprised […]

The UK is facing a future of Water Deficits – Is Re-Nationalisation the only sensible answer?

Conference notes that research for the Adaptation Sub-Committee’s (ASC) 2017 Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report considered a range of possible scenarios to assess water availability in the UK up to the 2080’s. The research, by consultancy HR Wallingford, considered differing levels of climate change, population growth and efforts to adapt to the impacts of […]

The role of markets in delivering Water Services

Conference notes that Ofwat in their publication Water 2020 have declared an intention to look to promote markets to deliver services in Water Resources and Bio-resources. Following the collapse of Carillion and the ramifications on public services is it not clear that a ‘markets’ based strategy could have similar devastating consequences for both the public […]

Recruiting and representing disabled members in the WET sector

Conference notes that recruiting new members is a priority for UNISON. Increasing our density in Water, Environment and Transport (WET) will increase our bargaining power with management and help us get the best deal for our members at the negotiating table. Challenges in the WET service group, such as job cuts and TUPE transfers in […]

Flexible working

Conference notes that the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees in 2014. However, the experience of reps and members within the water, environment and transport sector is that many employers are only prepared to agree to flexible working patterns for certain groups of staff, and then only on limited terms. Further, […]

Review of safety practices in the Water Industry

This 2018 WET Conference is aware of the disturbing number of accidents/incidents/near misses that continue to occur year on year in the Water Industry. One undeniable root cause is reducing staffing levels to the bare minimum as part of a risk management strategy which must continue to be opposed by UNISON. This Conference calls on […]

Organising Young Members in the WET Service Group

This WET Conference recognises that young members are the lifeblood of our union and the future within the WET Service Group. We call on the WET SGE in conjunction with the National Young Members Forum and UNISON’s communications department to develop bespoke publicity and materials to retain existing members and recruit current non-members in all […]

Sustainable Water at Work

This Conference calls upon the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group Executive to further develop the excellent “Water at Work” campaign that they launched in 2009, which sought to extend access to drinking water at work from mains supply sources. In order to keep workers healthy at work, we expect that all our employers covered […]