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2010 National Disabled Members' Conference
7 July 2010
Carried as Amended

Conference is concerned that disabled members may not be getting the opportunity to participate fully in policy and decision making processes.

We are all aware of the new change in government and in particular the proposed cuts these will bring to public sector services. Where policies are developed or reviewed it is going to be even more important that disabled people are involved and that they are able to influence policy decision making in a positive way.

New technologies can sometimes hinder the consultation process as organisations can and do use electronic media to consult with staff but this itself can sometimes exclude disabled UNISON members who are an important part of this process. On-line surveys and web based consultations can sometimes exclude disabled members in particular where there are specific access needs.

Conference is also concerned that as more organisations develop staff operational workers groups disabled members who organise and participate in challenging inappropriate systems and practices are being overlooked. Whilst staff groups are a valuable resource to organisations they should not exclude other disabled groups in particular union Self Organised groups who have detailed knowledge and expertise of the issues faced by disabled members.

Conference therefore instructs the National Disabled Members Committee to liaise with Regional Groups and other appropriate bodies in order to:

1.Consult with branches on the current levels of Disabled Self Organised Groups within UNISON

2.Identify whether these groups are being fully involved in consultation and policy making decisions and local negotiating and bargaining activities.

3.Identify how consultation is taking place within regions and whether methods being used are excluding disabled members

4.Produce guidance/article to show how disabled members participate fully in policy making decisions and local negotiating and bargaining activities publish this on the UNISON website and distribute to regional groups and branches.

5.Produce progress report for Conference 2011 and a full report to be available for Conference 2012