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UK public service union UNISON starts to look into Basic Income

At a recent UNISON Women’s Conference in Brighton, amendments were passed which commit the union to look into Basic Income. The amendments – which were added to motions discussing flexible working, austerity and in-work poverty – instructed the UNISON National Women’s Committee to:

  • investigate the impact of a Universal Basic Income policy on women with caring responsibilities, and publish their findings in the National Women’s Committee 2017 Annual Report;
  • work with the National Executive Council and the Policy Committee to explore the potential of a Universal Basic Income as a more woman-friendly direction for future welfare policy.

Limited resources and other pressing priorities for the union may mean that minimal action is taken at first, but the discussion has begun.

Barb Jacobson, co-ordinator of Basic Income UK, addressed the UNISON West Midlands Regional Council at their February 25th meeting.

The UNISON West Midlands Community branch will submit a motion to the full National Delegate Conference in June 2016, calling for the union to adopt a position in favour of the principle of a Universal Basic Income, and to draft a description of UNISON’s preferred version of a Basic Income policy.

UNISON is a trade union for people working in public services, including those outsourced to the private sector. With 1.3 million members, in more than 1000 branches across the UK, it is one of Europe’s largest unions. Over 70% of UNISON members are women.


Photo CC Wikimedia Commons

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Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. (I have always chosen to remain in the precariat for this reason: my sense of duty is strong enough that I’d risk imperiling my own self-development if I were to accept a permanent position.) If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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