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2011 National Disabled Members' Conference
15 July 2011

This conference is concerned about the level of discrimination currently faced by disabled people including the State Orchestrated Discrimination that this government implements against us on a daily basis. To fight this effectively we need to ensure that disabled people are represented at all levels of society including in our own union. Branches and regions should support and develop Disabled Members Self Organisation and encourage disabled members to become activists. To make sure this happens we need to set examples at the highest levels.

Rule D1.4 – Proportionality and Fair Representation on branch representation at National Delegate Conference states ‘The principles of proportionality and fair representation shall be observed in the election of delegates in accordance with guidelines drawn up by the National Executive Council.’

At this years conference the scheme of representation included proportionality of women, a low paid women, a young member and black members in proportion to their workplace profile. For disabled members it simply says ‘branches should endeavour to include disabled member in the delegation. Yet 20% of people and 12% of working age people are disabled. Endeavouring to include cannot be seen as fair representation of disabled people.

The rules under D2 relate to the National Executive Council (NEC) including its compositions. There is representation from regions and services groups which must include fair representation for women as well as a representative from young members. In addition there are four seats reserved for Black Members. These seats were introduced to help combat the institutional racism that Black Members face and are a credit to our union and our commitment to fighting discrimination.

This conference is concerned that these positive steps have not been offered to Disabled Members who are being targeted by the cuts in benefits, services, jobs and support by this government. Whilst we recognise the excellent work that has been done by the union to promote the needs for disabled people a considerable amount of work remains to be done to achieve real equality for disabled members.

This Conference calls on National Disabled Members Committee to:

1.Submit a rule change to National Delegates Conference to have reserved seats for disabled people on NEC;

2.Work with NEC Equality Liaison to campaign for Schemes of Representation for National Conferences to include disabled delegates in proportion to their workplace profile;

3.Carry out campaigning Work with NEC, Service Group Executives, Regions and Branches to gain support for these positive steps; and

4.Work with branches and regions to promote the benefits of having disabled activists at all levels of the union.