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Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual & Transgender Conference 2005
20 November 2005

Conference celebrates the formation of UNISON’s new Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Self-Organised Group. Conference congratulates the National LGBT Committee, and all Regional and Branch Activists, on the success of our campaign. Conference applauds the huge effort involved in realising this goal, and thanks all participants for their thorough and professional work and support on this key topic.

Conference recognises that sexual orientation and gender identity are two different aspects of a person and that our new group works on two discrimination grounds – as well as being committed to tackling all forms of discrimination. Conference notes that LGBT communities work together because of the many commonalities in our experiences. In the fight against discrimination, harassment and oppression and in our struggle for equality, justice, dignity and respect, we are stronger when we join together.

The rainbow has been the emblem of LGBT pride for over thirty years as it represents both diversity and unity. Rainbows rule!

In order to ensure that this becomes more than a change in name only, Conference believes it is crucial to develop and maintain activism and support for all LGBT members, and believes the time to do this is now, while the issues are fresh in members’ minds.

Conference commits to:

1.Working hard to encourage Bisexual and Transgender members to join the group, including through outreach to community LGBT, Bisexual and Transgender organisations;

2.Seeking to ensure that members of the former Lesbian and Gay group understand the reasons for the change and the benefits it brings;

3.Making sure that our language, meetings and campaigns are inclusive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender themes and issues;

4.Striving to meet UNISON’s rules on women’s representation in all our structures, while ensuring that individual members are free not to state a gender;

5.Continuing to monitor all aspects of fair representation and tackle areas of under-representation;

6.Maintaining the best of our old ways of working while being open to new ideas and change;

7.Continuing the use of caucuses to identify issues of particular importance to members within our group, such as black LGBT members and disabled LGBT members, and feed this into the whole group’s work;

8.Building an understanding of the purpose and benefits to the union of LGBT self-organisation amongst UNISON members outside the group;

9.Working with the rest of the union to LGBT equality proof UNISON’s practices, such as ensuring record-keeping protects the confidentiality of members who have permanently changed gender and ensuring systems work for trans members who have not;

10.Raising awareness and understanding of bisexual and transgender issues at branch, regional and national levels of our self-organised group, led by bisexual and transgender members, but with all taking responsibility;

11.Working with the NEC and service groups to implement existing UNISON policy that LGBT equality is a core issue for all parts of the union.

Conference urges:

A.All Regional and Branch activists to fully embrace the LGBT campaigning and negotiating agenda in support of our members; and,

B.All Branches to include an LGBT action point in their Branch Development Plan.