Equality is Fundamental

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2008 National LGBT Conference
17 September 2008

Conference believes that equality is fundamental and that women, black, disabled, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and young members may face particular barriers in the workplace and in getting involved in the union. Indeed many members face multiple barriers.

Conference notes that the introduction of the public equality duties has seen some improvements in the workplace but there is still a lot more to be done. Conference welcomes the proposed extension of the duties to cover sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief and age.

Conference believes equality is everyone’s responsibility and therefore welcomes the work that UNISON has carried out to promote equality within the union and with employers over recent years, including briefings and training on the public sector equality duties.

Conference welcomes the introduction of the UNISON Equality Scheme and the pilot project for union equality representatives which complement the existing equality provision within our structures to ensure that all our members take responsibility for ensuring equality is taken seriously.

Conference therefore instructs the National Executive Council to:

1.Remind branches of their responsibility to support self-organisation and mainstream equality;

2.Publicise the importance of the code of good branch practice, guidelines on self organisation, branch representation guide;

3.Encourage and support members of self organised groups and young members to become active within their branch structures, in particular, to get involved with the union equality reps pilot project and other equality initiatives;

4.Reiterate the responsibility of all activists to make sure equality is taken seriously and mainstreamed in all union activities.