Keeping Our Options Open

Conference broadly welcomes UNISON’s national initiative to reduce the environmental impact of our conferences by lessening the amount of paper used to provide delegates’ information. However it must be remembered that many retired members are not computer literate and do not have their own IT equipment – or access to any other such equipment except […]

England Needs a Commissioner for the Rights of Older People

The vast and important role older people have to play in supporting the economy and social wellbeing of family life in British society in today’s world is widely recognised. However, pensioners are often portrayed by politicians and some of the media as a burden on the NHS, the economy and society in general. Apart from […]

Celebrate the Bus! Help Keep the Bus Pass

“Conference congratulates the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Midlands Region Pensioners’ Network on its ‘bus tour’ of the Midlands between 7th and 21st April this year to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme. Working with a range of local partners who included retired members of at least thirteen UNISON branches […]

Branch Retired Members’ Secretary

“Conference notes that: 1)Rule D7.5 does not describe the Branch Retired Members’ Secretary (BRMS), plainly, as a member of the Branch Committee, rather it says BRMS “may attend and speak at all (its) meetings as determined by the Branch Committee rules …”; and, 2. This formulation is not used for any other member of the […]

National Insurance

The National Insurance scheme as established in 1948 to provide unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, retirement pension and various other benefits to employees and pensioners in the UK. Employed people who have not reached state retirement pension age and their employers contribute to the scheme through @National Insurance Contributions’ (NICs), which are based on a percentage […]

Older People and Loneliness

This conference calls on the National Retired Members’ Committee (NRMC) and requests the National Executive Council (NEC) to liaise with other agencies to raise awareness of loneliness and its affects in particular, on older people. Loneliness often comes about as a result of the lack of transport in rural areas together with the lack of […]

POST OFFICE CARD ACCOUNT

This conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee (NRMC) and calls upon the National Executive Council (NEC) to raise awareness, by any means at their disposal, to the pending threat of the removal of the Post Office Card Account (POCA). This account is used by thousands of pensioners and less able people as a safe […]

Defined Benefit Pensions in WET sectors

Conference notes with concern the terrible situation faced by pensioners in Carillion’s pension schemes, following the collapse of the company with a huge pension deficit outstanding. Conference further notes that Carillion paid high levels of executive and director pay, and bonuses, and substantial dividends to shareholders, while not addressing the deficits in its pension schemes. […]

Potential impact on jobs in water, environment and transport of the Government’s 25 year environment plan

Conference notes the publication in early 2018 of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan. Environmental stakeholders welcomed its publication, and the long-term vision which it suggested, but were concerned that there were very few concrete policy and legislative measures contained within it. Conference shares these concerns, in particular over the lack of measures that would […]

Automation, artificial intelligence and robotics in the Water Industry

Conference notes that water and wastewater companies will be including increased use of automation, artificial intelligence and robotics in their business plans for AMP7 (PR19) that they will be submitting to Ofwat. Surveys of senior executives in various industries show that organisations believe the combination of humans and machine intelligence will create a more effective, […]

Protecting members’ jobs through assuring good environmental standards following E U exit (Brexit)

Conference recognises that after the UK’s departure from the EU, the European Commission will no longer fulfil the vital function of overseeing and assuring the UK Government’s legislative and policy efforts to maintain and improve our environment. It notes that DEFRA Secretary of State, Michael Gove has proposed a new UK-based body to fulfil this […]

Inclusive workplace policies

Conference celebrates UNISON’s work over the past 25 years to promote women’s equality and participation and to tackle sexism and sex discrimination at work, in our union and across society. Like other service groups, the WET service group has a majority of women members and our rules and practices to encourage women’s participation are vital […]

Essential Water Company employees are underpaid

Conference notes that water and wastewater companies have a regular (usually annual) opportunity, when pay talks are undertaken, to lift the wages of their lowest paid – but essential – employees. Conference in particular notes that many employee groups in the Water Industry are adversely affected because their level of pay is compared to that […]

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 […]

Stress in call centres and operational centres

Conference notes that many water, environment agency and transport (WET) service group members work in call centres and operational centres where they take calls from operational colleagues and customers. While most callers are reasonable, there is always a proportion that are unreasonable and some who are extremely abusive. In workplaces with generally high levels of […]