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2010 National LGBT Conference
4 October 2010

Conference is concerned by attempts by the current government to foster a progressive image on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, while carrying out an unprecedented attack on the rights of LGBT workers and provision for LGBT service users.

Conference notes that the devastating impact of this Government’s public sector cuts on women, Black communities, disabled people and those on the lowest incomes is already well documented. The lack of national data on LGBT people makes the impact on them less easy to quantify in snap-shot analyses, but is well known to us in UNISON.

We in UNISON know that:

1.Anti-LGBT workplace discrimination remains widespread. In the fear and uncertainty of reorganisation and cuts, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia can run rampant. Bullying increases and LGBT workers fear to complain while their jobs are threatened;

2.Services for LGBT people don’t win popularity contests and are among the first to be cut in a downturn;

3.But when times are hard, LGBT people need public services more than ever, for example, appropriate youth and housing services for young LGBT people and care services for older LGBT people. Decent services change lives – and in some cases, save lives.

Conference affirms that there has never been a more important time for LGBT workers to be part of a strong, organising union. There has never been a greater need for trade unions to be loudly and publicly demanding LGBT equality.

Conference calls on the NEC, working with the LGBT self-organised group to:

A.Highlight attacks on LGBT workers and services, not allowing the government, employers or public service providers to hide behind lack of statistical data;

B.Maintain the high profile of UNISON’s commitment to LGBT equality in all our negotiating, organising and campaigning work;

C.Campaign against the erosion of the equalities agenda in the climate of public sector cuts;

D.To continue to defend the vital importance of public services that meet the needs of all.