Recruitment – a Fresh Approach

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2010 National LGBT Conference
30 July 2010
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises the importance that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Conference has previously placed on recruiting members.

Regional groups have attended numerous pride events and are involved in LGBT History Month, International Day Against Homophobia / International Day Against Homophobia/Biphobia/Transphobia (IDAHO/IDAHOBITS), Black Pride, BiCon and trans events. Conference celebrates our past work in this area but recognises we cannot rest on our laurels.

Conference notes UNISON’s aim to increase participation of underrepresented groups. Recruitment and retention of these members are key to democracy within our union. LGBT members have an important role in that recruitment work.

Many members have multiple identities which we need to embrace. We need to step up our recruitment of Black, disabled, migrant and young workers. A union that fully reflects the diversity of its members is key to an agenda that addresses the concerns of all. It also ensures that underrepresented groups do not become marginalised.

Our pay and pensions are under attack and we are facing savage cuts. Recruitment is more vital than ever. The more members we have, the better we can organise and defend jobs, pay, pensions and the delivery of public services. We need to get the message out that people need the protection of the union, and that only by standing together can we defend our public services.

Successful recruitment depends on imaginative strategies and using all opportunities to promote UNISON and the benefits of being a member. Conference therefore calls for a fresh approach to recruitment, recognising it as the lifeblood of our work. This will include:

1.Continued attendance and involvement in pride events (and other community events such as LGBT History Month, IDAHO/IDAHOBITS) but with an emphasis on ‘active recruiting’ – finding ways of speaking to people about the benefits of being in a union and getting them signed up;

2.Making recruitment activity a high profile aspect of all regional group meetings;

3.Engaging with community groups and social venues;

4.Identifying opportunities to promote UNISON – getting posters and Out in UNISON into workplaces, speaking at events, making people aware of LGBT conference and network meetings;

5.An LGBT presence at non-LGBT specific events, for instance promoting the Million Voices campaign and opposing the cuts to public services.

Conference calls on the National LGBT Committee to:

A.Support regional groups in their work in recruiting new members and share best practice including a comparison of the numbers of new members and new activists recruited through the different activities in which we participate;

B.Ensure that the work of campaigns such as Beyond the Barriers continue;

C.Target recruitment at underrepresented workers;

D.Work with the other self-organised groups, Young Members Forum and service groups as appropriate to share and develop recruitment initiatives.