Black women members participation as Trade Union activists

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2007 National Black Members' Conference
19 January 2007

Conference notes that recent trade union conferences have acknowledged that a working woman’s place is in her union and that UNISON should be committed to supporting those women who want to play an active part in trade union work.

The North West Region has been working with Liverpool University and the Northern Ireland Region in carrying out research on the experience of women who are active in UNISON.

Conference believes that this issue is even more of a challenge for Black women in UNISON because the most recent statistics have shown that 54% of UNISON Branch Secretaries are male and less than 0.1% are Black and a woman.

Conference asks that the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) seeks to:

1)work with the National Executive Council (NEC), Regional Black Members Committees and representatives on the NBMC from the Northern Ireland region to identify the following:-

a) numbers of Black women branch secretaries;

b) numbers of branch secretaries earning less than £12,000 per year;

c) number of Black women assistant branch secretaries;

d) number of Black women who are Regional or Branch Convenors;

e) all data to be provided in Service Group breakdown by March 2007;

2)get a commitment that the NEC will publicise the findings at all UNISON national conferences after March 2007;

3)get support from the regions to work with them to provide quarterly Black women members’ mentoring seminars with Black (female ideally but not essentially) tutors from both UNISON and the Trades Union Congress on ‘Black women & trade unionism’;

4)get the NEC to ensure that they seek support from all regions to include in the Regional Business Plan a commitment to fund the provision of these quarterly Black women members’ mentoring schemes;

5)engage with the relevant NEC sub-committee to ensure that Black lay tutors in UNISON are given opportunities to work with and support other Black women to become more active and be able to increase Black women’s participation.