Don’t condem young disabled people

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2011 National Disabled Members' Conference
15 June 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference believes that young people are amongst those most likely to suffer as a consequence of the damaging policies being pursued by the Con-Dem Government, and that young disabled people will be especially hard-hit.

Conference also believes that:

1.The job losses in the public and private sector predicted by the Treasury will have a catastrophic impact on the employment opportunities of young disabled people who are just entering the world of work, or who have recently taken up employment and it will have a profound effect on young disabled women who have caring responsibilities and/or work part time;

2.The decision to cancel the Future Jobs Fund – a far from perfect programme as it took little account of the needs of young disabled people’

but a step in the right direction – was a serious mistake;

3.The cuts in education at all levels for young disabled people will have a disastrous impact now and in the long-term and increase the gender pay gap for young disabled women who face barriers in climbing the work ladder because of working part time hours;

4.The cuts to services for young disabled people are taking place at a time when those services are needed more than ever;

5.The limited publicly-funded services such as accessible residential colleges that exist for young disabled people will face closure or only be able to operate under extreme financial pressure with less resources.

Taking these issues into account, Conference recognises that the Con-Dem Government’s strategy is to create a high-unemployment economy as a way to attack crucial legal employment rights and national and local agreements, which will weaken trade union organisation as a consequence and decimate those public services that play a vital role in promoting independence for young disabled people.

Conference therefore calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to:

A.Ensure that decisions of the Con-Dem Government affecting disabled people and in particular young disabled people are promptly reported to disabled members and the wider membership via the disabled members webpage on the UNISON website, and that appropriate coverage for these issues in UNISON press and publications is sought;

B.Encourage disabled public service workers to join UNISON in order to make sure we have the strongest voice possible in campaigning on the above issues;

C.Encourage all disabled members to participate actively in the union’s Million Voices campaign;

D.Identify key and appropriate young disabled groups and organisations which can be recommended as potential partners for UNISON as the Million Voices campaign moves into its next phase of reaching out into communities and building alliances to defend our services, our jobs, and our pensions.

E Campaign to raise awareness of how public service cuts will increase the gender pay gap, specifically for young disabled women.