Maternity Rights

Since the Tories have been in power, employment laws have become lax and used by employers to stifle members. Basic principles are failing to be followed resulting in many women being discriminated against. This is often the case during pregnancy and the maternity period (which includes breastfeeding). More and more frequently employers are failing to […]

Proper Funding for Further Education – Skills, Pay and Free Education

Conference notes with concern that the funding crisis in post-16 education continues. This means further cuts to courses, rising class sizes and, potentially, college closures unless urgent action is taken. Colleges are at the forefront of delivering technical and professional education and training. Therefore, fair funding for colleges is essential for every community and for […]

Organising Occupational Groups

UNISON Renfrewshire recently held a successful summit for additional support needs assistants and home care staff. The purpose of the summit was to bring together two different occupational groups affected by similar issues, in this case administration of medicines, grading and working conditions. The Scottish Trades Union Congress was also involved in the event. Following […]

Henry VIII’s Cruellest Cut

We voted to leave the EU. Control over our laws, it was argued, would be returned to our Houses of Parliament and all our laws would be debated by our democratically elected Members of Parliament, with our democratic rights strengthened, not weakened. The proposed Great Repeal Bill, which will repeal The European Communities Act 1972, […]

Women and sickness absence

Conference notes that increasingly local government employers are penalising employees taking sick leave, and that women are disproportionately affected by the sickness absence schemes in use in local government that treat regular short periods of absence particularly severely. There are many women-specific conditions that fall foul of those penalties, including endometriosis, menorrhagia, menopause, PMS- related […]

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 […]

Housing

Conference notes that cuts to investment in social rented homes and instead promoting of home-ownership options such as shared ownership, starter homes and Help to Buy. This has led to a year on year drastic decline in the social housing sector since 1979. Housing policies have led to a 97% drop in the number of […]

“Say No” to National Assessment and Accreditation

The Conservative government is planning to introduce an accreditation system for children and family social workers which will undoubtedly put already stretched social workers under even more pressure to meet rising demands on services that protect Children and Young People (CYP). Conference notes: • Children’s services are in financial crisis. According to report in Guardian […]

Mental health and workloads in the council workfor

The Westminster government’s slash and burn response to the economic crisis, and their austerity measures have resulted in drastic financial cuts to local government. Council employers are being forced to make radical cost savings. It is no surprise that the first attacks being made are to staffing levels, and terms and conditions of employment. The […]

Raising the Profile of Local Government Workers

Conference notes that local government services too often suffer from a low profile, with little political or media understanding or support for the work local government employees do. There is not enough recognition for the work our members in local authorities and schools do. Often, members providing services in local government are not recognised for […]

Privatisation and bringing services back

Conference notes that privatisation and outsourcing is increasingly discredited. Up and down the country, councils of different political persuasions are bringing services back in-house, to save money and to end the in-built inflexibility of private contracts where the slightest change involves extra cost. An example of this inflexibility is the waste disposal contract in the […]