Housing out of reach for public service workers!

This local government service group conference recognises that high housing costs and affordability are among the biggest issues facing the workforce in the south east and nationally, affecting where members can live, what they can access and what they can afford. According to the National Housing Federation, there was a shortfall of over 85,000 homes […]

Gun and Knife Crime – Time to Stop the Senseless Killings

The number of deaths as a result of gun and knife crime in London, and inner cities across the country, continues to make the news with the number of innocent lives lost seemingly increasing on a daily basis. The right wing press claim that the situation is a result of ‘lawless Britain’ but the truth […]

Exemptions from hot-desking – a reasonable adjustment for disabled workers

Since 2010 local government has faced swingeing budget cuts as part of central government’s austerity agenda. This has led to many councils introducing hot-desking in order to reduce their premises costs. Workers no longer have a fixed desk but instead have to find an empty desk every day. Conference is concerned about the impact of […]

Negotiating disability leave policies with local government employers

Disability leave is time off from work for a reason related to someone’s disability. It is an example of a reasonable adjustment which local government employers have a duty to provide to disabled staff under the Equality Act 2010. It is different to sick leave – in many cases the worker is not actually sick […]

Facility time

Trade union facility time is one of the basic and most vital building blocks for local trade union organisation, and it is also of enormous benefit to employers. Since 2010, many local authorities have cut facility time significantly, sometimes driven by ideology and sometimes by cuts in funding. Conference notes that in December 2018-January 2019 […]

Cuts to pastoral support in schools

A recent UNISON survey of staff who provide pastoral support for pupils raised significant concerns at the impact of cuts to services. Support staff are often trusted adults and confided in by pupils about a huge range of welfare issues, from parental separation, bereavement and caring responsibilities to bullying, eating problems and suicidal thoughts; regardless […]

Nelson Mandela: Inspiring Future Generations

Conference notes that 2020 will be the 30 year anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from captivity. Conference believes that Mandela’s life, sacrifice and values are inspirational to us today in our struggle for justice and equality. Conference notes with pride the role of trade unionists in the Anti-Apartheid movement and that Nelson Mandela […]

Recruitment and Retention of Members

Conference notes with pride the increase in UNISON membership during 2018 and commends the effort made by branches and activists towards this significant achievement in the face of unrelenting Tory cuts to public services. Throughout the decade of austerity UNISON has managed to mitigate membership losses and recruit new activists through its key Meeting the […]

Local service champions

Local government is a diverse network of roles and services that all work together to keep our local communities going. Local government workers have a vital role to play in this, working tirelessly to support the public in their everyday lives. They are true local champions, sometimes working ‘behind the scenes’ to make sure our […]

Libraries at breaking point

Conference is deeply concerned at the state of our public library service. In 2017-18 alone, spending by local authorities on public libraries fell by £30 million. The service lost 712 full-time equivalent posts and suffered a net loss of 127 service points. Volunteer numbers rose to a staggering 51,394 volunteers putting in 1,780,843 hours. Our […]

Zero hour contracts

Conference deplores the use of zero hour contracts in local authorities, schools and in private contractors. Zero hour contracts represent an incredibly insecure form of employment, and are a major cause of in-work poverty. Employers can cancel shifts at short notice, or not award shifts in the first place. Many zero hour workers don’t know […]

Crisis in social care

Conference recognises that the crisis in social care continues apace across the UK as councils suffer the consequences of almost a decade of underfunding. According to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, £7bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010. UNISON members have spoken out about the impact of cuts on […]

Violence and Aggression

Conference re-affirms its belief that violence and aggression against workers, whether physical, verbal or psychological, is not part of the job. Conference notes, and congratulates all those involved in the work across the union in the past year, in highlighting this as one of UNISON’s key campaigning issues. It notes that UNISON has long campaigned […]

Make 2021 the Year of Disabled Workers

Conference believes that one of UNISON’s strengths lies in its recognition of the value and unique experiences disabled people bring to the workplace and to our union. UNISON recognises that people are disabled by societal and environmental barriers rather than their medical condition. Conference, commends the work of UNISON’s National Disabled Members Committee to raise […]

PROGRESSIVE TAXES TO END AUSTERITY

Conference notes that brutal austerity has continued to blight public services. Despite claims from Prime Minister Theresa May in her 2018 Conservative Party Conference speech that “support for public services will go up”, all public services have been pushed to – and in many cases beyond – breaking point. Conference notes that during almost a […]