Mainstreaming LGBT Equality

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2010 Police and Justice Service Group Conference
23 June 2010

During this period of public sector cuts, as we feel the impact on police and justice, this conference notes the risk of dwindling support for equality issues, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) issues, in the police and justice services.

Police and justice diversity departments face downsizing and our members face cuts or increasing workloads due to non-replacement of staff. As a result, equality issues, including LGBT issues, are falling off the agenda. If left unchecked, this will lead to a broadening equality gap.

Conference believes effective equality measures are one of the best tools at our disposal for the recruitment and retention of members. Further, the existing three public sector equality duties and the new single equality duty, due to come into force in April 2011, can be used to challenge changes to staffing or service delivery that have not been equality impact assessed.

We must lead by example and ensure that equality issues are not allowed to be treated as an optional extra to UNISON’s business. Conference urges the whole police and justice service group to encourage equality throughout everything we do.

Conference therefore calls on the Police and Justice service group executive (SGE), regional police and justice committees and police and justice branches to mainstream equality by:

1)Utilising and promoting UNISON’s Equality Scheme;

2)Ensuring all language used in police and justice documentation is LGBT inclusive;

3)Actively encouraging LGBT members to become involved in branches and/or regions;

4)Ensuring all work place benefits are available to all, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

5)Becoming an example to our police and justice employers by showing equality is a mainstream part of our business and a vital part of all that we do.