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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 450 articles.

Kate has previously made a living as a professional student (current interests: philosophy of language, pragmatics, sociolinguistics), but is retired for the time being. Regarding her present work in the UBI community, you may read more here. If you think that market norms pretty much suck, and you're interested in the hypothesis that UBI could help to support a society in which people work predominantly out of non-financial motivations, please feel free to connect with her (Facebook works well). Same goes if you're interested in UBI out of a general opposition to job/career culture.

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