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Welcome to our branch website. Yorkshire Water UNISON branch represents over 1,700 members working in the water industry.  Our membership consists of office and site based engineers, scientists, technicians, operators and I.T. specialists from, mainly, across the Yorkshire region but we also extend to Kelda group companies in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

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Success in the water: UNISON congratulates Amy Marren (12/09/16)

Like everyone in the country, UNISON has been cheering on our incredible athletes as they’ve been competing in the Paralympic Games in Rio.

And for the union, we’re particularly delighted to congratulate swimmer Amy Marren, who won a bronze medal in the pool last night.

UNISON has always been dedicated to supporting disabled people and, back in 2010, the union unveiled a three-year sponsorship of London’s regional disability swimming squad – a squad that Amy was a member of at the time.

And as if that were not a big enough connection, Amy’s grandmother is senior lay member Irene Stacey.

So well done Amy! And we know that Irene will be overjoyed too.

 

Latest Branch Newsletter published (12/09/16)
Charity cheque presentation in memory of Jo Cox (06/09/16)

“We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”

Jo Cox MP, 2015

On 16th June the MP for Batley and Spen and our fellow UNISON member, Jo Cox, was brutally murdered outside her constituency surgery at Birstall library. Jo was a hardworking MP, a passionate campaigner, a mum of two young children and a proud Yorkshire lass. She’d dedicated her life to fighting for others and after her death a fund was set up in her honour. The YW UNISON branch has donated £500 to Jo’s fund to help three excellent charities. The fund has already raised £1.5 million and this will be split between; The Royal Voluntary Service, to support volunteers combatting loneliness in Batley and Spen; HOPE not hate, who challenge and defeat the politics of extremism within communities across Britain; and The White Helmets, a group of volunteer search and rescue workers in Syria. Our thoughts are with Jo’s family, friends, and her brave and devoted staff who are carrying on to help the people of Batley and Spen after Jo’s tragic passing.

Emily Brady

 

Living wage in the water industry (20/04/16)

Even on the proper living wage, it would take nearly 130 years for the lowest paid employees in the water industry to earn the same as the highest paid director in the sector does in 12 months, according to new research published by UNISON today (Wednesday 20 April).

This analysis of pay at the UK’s 19 water companies reveals a worrying gulf between those at the top and those at the bottom of the wages league, says UNISON.

Tonight the union’s campaign for a living wage across the whole of the UK’s water industry – Making Waves for the Living Wage – will be highlighted at an event in parliament.

The campaign aims to improve the pay of thousands of water company employees currently struggling to make ends meet on less than the living wage of £8.25 per hour (£9.40 in London).

The research shows that it would still take 128 years for the lowest-paid staff at United Utilities to take home the equivalent of the £2.2m wages of the company’s highest paid director, even if they were paid the living wage.

Launching the campaign, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The water companies are making huge profits, and are paying their top executives huge salaries. They could easily afford to start paying their lowest-paid employees a proper living wage. And even if they did there would still be an ocean between those at the top and those at the bottom.

“While some water companies like Yorkshire Water, Northumbrian Water and Scottish Water have done the decent thing and now pay the living wage, many – including Thames Water, Anglian Water and Wessex Water – still don’t.

“Five of the UK’s water companies award their highest paid directors more than £1m a year, but haven’t yet been able to come up with the cash to pay their workers a decent wage. Three of these five are at least talking about paying their staff a living wage, but two seem quite happy to keep things as they are. Our campaign is an attempt to put a stop to this stingy approach to pay and see at least a living wage paid throughout the industry.”

UNISON wrote to the boards of the UK’s water companies to ask them whether they were planning to become living wage employers. As a result of the union’s approach, some are now talking to the Living Wage Foundation about becoming accredited living wage employers. UNISON intends to keep up the pressure on those companies who have yet to make any move towards paying the living wage.

 

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