The first session started with a Seminar on Housing Associations, Lynn Gillespie chaired the session, first introductions from representatives around the country, we had and discussions around pay rises, negotiated rises, and issues faced that are very similar to all. Also the differences between Arms Length Management Organisations and Housing Associations. there was then a comfort break before the next session began.
The next session was the Community Seminar Session one, everyone was welcomed to the seminar. and the agenda for the afternoon was detailed as follows.
The first speaker was Gavin McCann he discussed social care work and the things that have been happening over the past years including enhanced data on Social Care Membership, Regional Social Care leads, Links to the DHSC, and increased the Media profile and pushed the message that the union is ‘The Union of Social Care’. There has been stronger links to employers made, regular member communication, knowledge of member experience, more political impact. Social care and the pandemic Gavin drew attention the following article explaining how exposed the care sector was left during the pandemic regarding Sick pay, pep testing, fragmentation and vaccination. 922 Care workers lost their lives due to covid and there has been a failure to protect the care sector from Covid-19
Campaigns that are being looked into from this year include, looking at the damage caused, a National Care Service Campaign, more National Partnership Working, and the setting up of a Future Social Care Coalition.
UNISON Structural changes is being looked into and will ensure social care will fit within the structure to ensure its strongly supported. Gavin then took questions from conference attendees.
Following these questions we now receive a presentation from Claire Williams who is discussing the Member Engagement Programme, and reiterates how important members are to UNISON and the improvements that need too be made and how soon these can be made to ensure community members are active in the union. Claire then took Questions from the floor.
Following this there was a presentation by Donna Rowe-Merrieman UNISON National Secretary regarding Home working and Hybrid Working: how covid19 is changing the workplace. this looked at personal accounts, impact on personal circumstances, benefits and disadvantages of working from home. issues of increased domestic violence. The right to disconnect was discussed where in other countries such as France and Germany laws have been brought in to allow workers to disconnect and not answer work calls out of working hours.
Working from home allowance was discussed, that may come to an end very soon. and how important that working from home payments are for members and employees.
There was then a look into the important areas for negotiations coming up these are as follows…
Donna wrapped up her session with a final Slide linking to the Bargaining Guides and a comic strip about home working
you can read the bargaining guides here..
Following this presentation there was a comfort break before the final speech of the day by Kevin Stuart – Minister for Mental Well-being and social care and he discussed about Creating a National Care Service in Scotland. Kevin then took questions from the floor.
This wraps up todays session for the conference ends this blog for today, and order of business continues tomorrow.
You can read the Final Agenda here…
The Annual Report can be read here