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2007 National Disabled Members' Conference
5 July 2007
Carried as Amended

Conference welcomes the decision to develop a UNISON Equality Scheme covering every function of UNISON – recruitment and organising, negotiating and representing members, campaigning and promoting UNISON, and UNISON’s internal functions as an employer and service provider.

UNISON is rightly proud of its leading profile in the field of equalities and its provision of a model of best practice for representation of groups traditionally without a voice in trade union structures and society in general. The self organised groups of UNISON have always identified and addressed issues of inequality, and a UNISON Equality Scheme provides an opportunity to continue this work through the internal structures of our trade union.

Conference agrees that everything UNISON does, at all levels of its structures should promote equality – not just those activities which are perceived as specifically equalities work. Nothing we do should permit or perpetuate unlawful discrimination.

Conference recognises the work of the existing Equalities bodies, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Commission for Race Equality (CRE) and Disability Rights Commission (DRC). This includes The Disability Discrimination Act and its amendments and the Public Sector Duty to promote Disability Equality.

However Conference is aware that there is much yet to be done, and that this work must include continuing acknowledgement of the unique experience of discrimination against disabled people.

Conference therefore instructs the National Disabled Members Committee to work with the National Executive Council and all other appropriate structures of UNISON to develop an Equality Scheme for UNISON which

1.Agrees the right to positive action on behalf of disabled people as enshrined within the Disability Discrimination Act and actively campaign for

the rights of disabled members;

2.Supports the involvement of disabled people in public life in particular, part-time disabled women workers by creating and maintaining opportunities for disabled members to be active at all levels of the trade union movement and society in general;

3.Makes comprehensive use of Equality Impact Assessments on all existing and proposed policies, campaigns and initiatives; and

4.Achieves parity of opportunity across all Self Organised Groups by ensuring that achievements by previous equality campaigns and examples of best practice are retained as a minimum benchmark, from which each strand of equality can develop as appropriate

5. Ensures that all UNISON meetings at all levels within the organisation are fully accessible to disabled members where their intention to attend is already known