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 […]

Personal Protective Equipment Checklist for Safety Representatives

Water, Environment and Transport Conference 2013 calls upon the WET Executive to devise a checklist to ensure that any PPE is compliant with the law. As a minimum, the checklist should include: • Check with employers that PPE was purchased from reputable suppliers i.e. from Companies displaying the logo of the Registered Safety Suppliers (RSS) […]

Presenteeism

Recent statistics prove that workers are taking less time off sick than ever before but this can well be a false economy situation particularly for members we represent in the WET Service Group. Workplaces now face a bigger problem of presenteeism not absenteeism whereby workers are struggling into workplaces with ill health symptoms and end […]

Health and Safety event for Safety Representatives of Branches in the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group

Following on from the success of the 2012 WET Health & Safety event, this Conference calls on a similar event to be staged in the spring of 2014 as Health and Safety remains one of the key areas for our members. Positive feedback was received from all attendees last time and experience gained from others […]

Direct to Site Working

Issues are being experienced in some Branches including Scottish Water whereby the Working Time Regulations appear to be being misinterpreted in particular when working time begins. Instances that have come to the fore include employees being required to do basic vehicle checks in their own time before commencing work. In addition, employees are being told […]

Ensuring Adequate Maintenance of Manhole Covers

This 2013 WET Conference is aware of a serious safety incident in Severn Trent Water which resulted in a sewerage operator losing the tips of his fingers on one hand. The individual concerned was gaining access to a confined space but suffered the injury as the stay on the manhole cover collapsed. Such assets particularly […]

Ensuring Appropriate Site Signage Whilst Work is being undertaken

Whilst this Conference welcomes improvements to sites including making welfare facilities of an acceptable standard basic site Health and Safety issues shouldn’t be forgotten about during the duration of such work. It came to light on some but not all sites that were being improved in United Utilities that lighting and signage on emergency routes […]

CAMPAIGN TO DEFEND THE ROLE OF TEACHING ASSISTANTS

Conference is alarmed and appalled by the article published by the Sunday Times on 2 June (and subsequently in other media outlets) reporting that the Treasury has been holding talks with the Department for Education about phasing out the role of teaching assistants as part of budget cuts in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. This […]

Facility Time

Conference notes the Government’s deplorable attacks on trade union facility time in the public sector, fuelled by lobbying by the Tax Payers’ Alliance and other right-wing organisations. Attacks on the facility time of civil servants have become envied by Eric Pickles as he seeks to mimic and replicate them across local government. These attacks are […]

Welfare Reform – Housing, Benefits and Social Work

This Conference recognises that the Con-Dem Coalition Government is intent on undermining the system of collective social security and on reducing the household incomes of those on less than average incomes. This will include many UNISON members working in local government. Conference notes that, as a share of national income, wages have fallen over the […]

Calling a Halt to Poverty Pay in Local Government

Conference condemns the shameful state of pay and conditions for local government workers across the UK. Conference notes that: 1) NJC and SJC pay has the lowest bottom rate of pay and the worst conditions of all public sector groups – for both full-time and part-time workers 2) NJC and SJC pay has fallen by […]

No to Bargain Basement Terms and Conditions!

Conference notes the shocking findings in UNISON’s late 2012 survey of cuts to NJC terms and conditions: 1) 20% councils have frozen increments 2) 8% of councils have cut basic pay 3) 13% of councils have introduced unpaid leave 4) Over 60% of councils have cut weekend enhancements 5) 31% of councils have cut redundancy […]

Ethical Care Campaign

Conference welcomes the launch of UNISON’s Ethical Care Campaign and the production of the ‘Time to Care’ report, which has provided a platform for often-ignored homecare workers to articulate their frustrations and anger with the UK homecare system. It has shown how a committed but poorly paid and treated workforce is doing its best to […]

The Day of the Africa Child

The 16th June is another historic day celebrated all over Africa, this is the day of the African Child. On the 16th June 1976, thousands of Black school children took to the street of Soweto, South Africa. In a march more than half a mile long, they protested the inferior quality of their education and […]