Driver only trains deny accessible support for disabled women

Conference picture this, a female wheelchair user gets on a train at a station and has assistance to enter the train. Platform staff get the ramps and the woman disabled customer is helped onto the train. The train has only a driver and no conductor. Then when getting to the station to get off the […]

The Trade Union Act and the government’s austerity cuts and their impact on disabled women

Conference notes that in June 2016 the United Nations (UN) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights found that the UK government’s austerity measures and social security reforms were in breach of its obligations to human rights. The report amongst other issues cites: an increase in the use of food banks, rising unemployment rates, the […]

Abortion Rights 50 Years Since the 1967 Act

Conference notes that the 1967 Abortion Act will be 50 years old in 2017. Prior to 1967 around 100,000 illegal abortions were carried out each year in Britain and it is estimated that 35.000 women were hospitalised each year due to botched back street abortions. No one really knows how many women actually died but […]

Gender wage gap widens for women with children

A report published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies into the gender wage gap has found that women experience a gradual but continual rise in the gap once they have their first child. The study also found, on average, that the hourly wages of female employees are currently about 18 per cent lower than men’s. […]

safe travel

Safe travel for women Conference will be aware that there has been some discussion regarding safe travel for women in the past year, in particular there have been concerns about the removal of train guards on some journeys placing females at an increased risk of unwanted attention and in more serious cases physical and sexual […]

The Wage Penalty of Motherhood

In August 2016 a report publishes by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed how the Gender Pay Gap is growing year on year after childbirth. Many Women are forced to leave better paid jobs due to the pressure of caring responsibilities and the lack of flexible working. Without more well […]

Modern Slavery – Closer Than You Think

There is no one face of modern slavery. Victims are mostly women, and children of all ages, and cut across populations, but it is normally more prevalent among minorities and excluded groups. Many women in modern slavery are brought to the UK, but latest figures show that UK nationals are also being targeted. Vulnerable young […]

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Conference notes that according to the “New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES): Higher Education gender pay gap data” report which was published in September 2016, the gender pay gap in Higher Education has narrowed. However, it is disappointing to note that despite the Equal Pay Act being enacted over 40 years ago […]

International Day of the Girl Child

Conference notes that in 2011, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” […]

Lack of Black women participation in UNISON

More than 70% of UNISON members are women and UNISON is committed to fair representation and proportionality (Rule D1.4). However, in the public sector where many of our members are Black women, we see very few Black women represented at branch, regional and national level; despite statistics telling us that Black people are amongst those […]

Equal pay and Black Women

Conference as we all know the pay gap between men and women is widening, but it will come as no surprise that the pay gap for Black women is even greater. 37.6% of Black workers are in occupations which are traditionally low paid and dominated by women – cleaning, care work and catering, compared to […]

Sexual harassment is rife at work

According to figures published by the TUC, 52 per cent of all women and nearly two thirds of women between the ages of 18 and 24 have experienced sexual harassment at work. The study, “Still just a bit of banter?”, which was carried out in conjunction with the Everyday Sexism Project, also found that: • […]


UNISON was formed in 1993 and at that time, proportionality was a radical and hotly contested inclusion within the rule book. UNISON rules state: 2.12.2 “Proportionality” is the representation of women and men in fair proportion to the relevant number of female and male members comprising the electorate. UNISON women’s membership is currently at 77% […]

Dress Code Inquiry

This conference is pleased to know that the House of Commons is holding an inquiry into high heels and workplace dress codes, following a petition asking for the law to be changed attracted almost 150,000 signatures. MPs on the Petitions and Women and Equalities Committees have already heard evidence from the person who started the […]


An article published in the Independent on 30 September 2016 revealed measures which will be introduced in April 2018 that will result in thousands of pensioners being hit by a new bedroom tax. This is despite the Government’s promise to protect the elderly from the hugely controversial benefit cuts. Pensioners are poised to lose at […]