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Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual & Transgender Conference 2005
29 July 2005

Conference notes that:

1.Following earlier changes to secure the representation of Black trades unionists, in 2001 the Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Council was further enlarged to include three new sections, H, I and J, each consisting of one seat and representing, respectively, trades unionists with disabilities, Lesbian and Gay trades unionists and trades unionists under 27 years of age; in 2002 Bisexual and Transgender trades unionists were added to the definition of section I;


3.Each affiliated trades union may make one nomination for each of the three seats which are filled by election at congress; but,


5.In each of the last five years three unions which between them cast about 42% of the congress vote (one of them UNISON) agreed they would each make a nomination for only one of the three seats and vote for each other’s candidates in any election.


Conference re-iterates views of the former Lesbian and Gay Conference as follows:

A.Its opposition to this arrangement and its call for UNISON to withdraw forthwith;

·B.Its view that sections H, I and J each be enlarged to two seats to provide gender balance; and,

·C.Its view that these General Council members be elected by the union’s delegates to the respective equalities conferences rather than by those to congress.

Conference further notes that this matter has been the subject of lengthy debate within the Self-organised Groups Liaison Committee and that the National Executive Council’s (NEC’s) Policy Development and Campaigns Committee adopted the following statement in 2004:

At the present time the NEC will continue to maintain UNISON influence on the TUC General Council by co-operating with the TU’s (trades unions) in relation to candidacies for Equality Seats.

In the longer term, UNISON will seek, in co-operation with other affiliates, to ensure that these seats are elected by the respective equality conferences (after consultation with those conferences) and appropriate rule changes are brought forward.

Conference is glad to have the admission, at last, that UNISON’s objective all along was to maintain its own influence on the General Council in effect thwarting the TUC’s intention to provide representation for Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) trades unionists and others.

Conference is even gladder to note that whilst UNISON was still pondering its longer-term intention the TUC LGBT Conference 2005 carried the following motion from the Communication Workers Union with UNISON support:

Conference notes that, at present, the equalities seats on the General Council, Sections D-J, are elected at TUC Annual Congress. This conference believes that the equality conferences are the correct electoral constituency for these seats. The LGBT Committee are instructed to liaise with the other TUC equality committees in order to progress a reform of TUC procedures , allowing for the election of the seats in Sections D-J by the appropriate Equality Conferences.

It was reported too at the conference that similar motions were carried at other TUC equalities conferences.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to raise the points at A. – C. above with the NEC again and to urge that UNISON:

I.Give them wholehearted support; and,

II.Seek to ensure the TUC has new arrangements in place in time for its next LGBT Conference.