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2009 National Women's Conference
23 October 2008

Conference welcomes the closer working together of the self organised groups and young members through the Equality Liaison Committee. There are many cross cutting issues which affect women in different ways and this needs to be addressed on a joint basis.

However, conference is concerned that this joint working may be the first step towards one equalities lay structure in UNISON and a diminution of women’s organisation within the union.

Evidence from the TUC equalities surveys show that where unions do not appear to have distinctive women’s structures, equality work may concentrate on one of the equality strands at any particular moment in time and pay scant regard to the others. Conference believes that a union as large and diverse as UNISON must maintain at the very minimum the women’s self organisation that it currently has.

Conference also reaffirms its support for the current model of self organisation where women members are responsible for setting their own priorities and ways of working. Where branch women’s officers exist, these posts must be taken by women and branch self organised structures for women need to be open to all women in the branch.

Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to:

1)Work with the other self organised groups and the NEC in ways that will promote women’s self organisation.

2)Oppose any attempts at what ever level which may undermine women’s rights to self organise.