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2010 National LGBT Conference
4 October 2010

Conference celebrates how self organisation is fundamental and central to the structures and function of UNISON since the creation of the union. However, each year only a small number of branches send members to self organised group (SOG) conferences.

A recent survey found that the majority of the 92 branches in the South West region do not send any members to SOG Conferences. In 2009, only 11 branches from the region were represented at Black Members’ Conference, 10 represented at Disabled Members’ Conference, 17 represented at LGBT Members’ Conference and 25 at Women’s Conference. 54 South West branches did not send members to any SOG Conference in 2009; this figure was 58 in 2008 and 62 in 2007. Conference suspects that the South West region is not unusual and most branches in other regions do not send members to SOG Conferences.

There are LGBT members in many branches who are not encouraged to attend LGBT Conference and if they are women, Black or Disabled it is likely that they are not encouraged to attend other SOG Conferences.

Conference believes it is important for the LGBT Members’, Black Members’, Disabled Members and Women’s SOGs to work together in each region to promote self organised group activity.

Conference calls on all regional LGBT groups to:

1.Approach the other SOGs in their regions and discuss how to improve joint working;

2.Raise the issue at Regional Council and request that each region use the branch assessment process to identify branches that do not send members to SOG conferences and develop a work programme to address the issue.