Raising the Profile of Lesbian and Gay Self- Organisation in Colleges of Further Education

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2003 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
26 September 2003
Carried as Amended

This Conference welcomes the call in the resolution “Branch, Steward and Workplace Organisation” of 2003 National Delegate Conference for the development of a programme of improving organisation in further education (FE) colleges.

Conference believes that this programme should include initiatives to raise the profile of self-organisation in FE colleges and to encourage participation by FE members in self-organised groups (SOGs).

Conference also believes that the new rights in the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations that come into effect on 1 December 2003 present an ideal opportunity for initiatives to recruit more lesbian and gay members in FE, and to attract more lesbian and gay FE members to become activists – as stewards, health and safety reps, self-organised group reps and learning reps.

Conference therefore calls on the Local Government Service Group Executive and the FE committee to work with the National Lesbian and Gay Committee (NLGC) and all appropriate branches in the service group to use this opportunity to recruit lesbian and gay workers in FE into the union and encourage their increased participation in the union and in SOGs.

This should include the following:

1.publicity specifically targeted at FE colleges to explain how UNISON’s Self Organised Group’s structures work and how members can get involved at branch and regional levels;

2.encouraging branches with FE members to use the new rights as a focus for recruiting and organising lesbian and gay members and encouraging more lesbian and gay members to become activists;

3.encouraging all FE college branches to send representatives to Lesbian and gay Conference, and all local government branches with FE college membership to include FE members in delegations to Lesbian and Gay Conference;

4.organising an annual one day seminar for L&G FE members to network together, to be briefed on union structures and organisation and to focus on L&G and FE campaign issues;

5.requesting the National FE Committee to review the structure of the committee with a view to providing representation from all self-organised groups and Young Members’ Forum.