Communicating with LGBT Members

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2009 Water & Environment Service Group Conference
4 March 2009
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that continuing levels of prejudice and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers means that a high proportion do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender history at work, there are also private individuals who consider their sexual orientation or gender history to be no one else’s business but their own. Because of this, they are also not out as LGBT in the union.

However, Conference recognises that LGBT members who are not out for whatever reasons may be at even greater need of their union’s advice and information on LGBT equality. Given that the government estimate is that 6% of the population are lesbian, gay or bisexual, there cannot be a single UNISON branch that does not have LGBT members.

Conference notes that because we cannot know who these members are, it is essential that LGBT information is sent to all members.

Conference welcomes the wide range of UNISON material on LGBT equality, including the newsletter Out in UNISON, the bargaining factsheets on LGB workers equality and trans workers equality, the monthly LGBT e-bulletin, which members can sign up for on the UNISON website and the e-mail group for LGBT business and environment members.

Conference therefore calls on the SGE, regional water and environment committees and water and environment branches to make sure they include UNISON LGBT information in meetings, on noticeboards, and in newsletters, webpages and circulars.

In order to encourage participation, Conference further calls on the SGE to add to the agenda of the branch seminar weekend an item for discussion on ‘self organisation’.