Recruiting and Organising Young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Members

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2011 National LGBT Conference
8 August 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises that young people are among those disproportionately affected by the Tory-led government’s attacks on public services – especially education – jobs, employment rights and pensions. Cuts to youth work services, Connexions, housing benefit, the Education Maintenance Allowance and the hike in tuition fees – all are examples of the government’s contempt for young people, but are also likely to have a particular impact on young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people.

Conference believes that it is essential for the LGBT group to continue to develop its work to promote trade unionism to young LGB & T people, to bring young LGBT people into UNISON and to encourage their participation in the union and in the LGBT group at all levels.

It welcomes the parallel commitment by the National Young Members Forum (NYMF) to encourage the participation of LGBT members in the young members forum and its decision to introduce caucus meetings for all self-organised groups at the national young members’ weekend with effect from 2011.

Conference recognises however that we need to do more to create links with young LGB & T people facing cuts in services and benefits, to recruit and organise young LGBT members and to support them where necessary in acquiring the knowledge and skills to become activists and leaders in our group and in our union.

Conference therefore resolves that the National LGBT Committee should work with the NYMF to develop an ongoing programme of initiatives to support young LGBT recruitment, organisation and participation including:

1.Identifying joint recruitment, organising, and campaigning opportunities of relevance to young LGBT people. These activities should address and reflect the specific issues of Black and disabled young LGBT people;

2.Producing a joint leaflet aimed at young LGBT people promoting trade unionism and, particularly, the benefits of being in UNISON and being involved in the LGBT group and Young Members’ Forum (YMF);

3.Producing guidance on practical initiatives for recruiting and involving young LGBT members (workers and those in education within the terms of rule C.2.3.3);

4.Producing guidance on ways of providing appropriate support to young LGBT members where necessary to develop skills and knowledge to become activists and to stand for election to positions such as regional committee members, regional convenors and regional or caucus representatives on the national committee;

5.Exploring increasing the use of the most current social media, including an LGBT young members’ Facebook site;

6.Considering recruitment initiatives targeted at students and apprentices and ways of developing work with the National Union of Students.

7. Explore building links with other young LGBT groups such as ‘The Queer Youth Network’.

Conference calls on all regional groups to:

A.Seek discussions with their regional YMF on ways of working together more effectively;

B.Include in their work plans practical initiatives for recruiting and involving young LGBT members especially in their organising and campaigning work;

C.Develop plans to ensure that young LGBT members are provided with appropriate support where necessary, e.g. training and mentoring arrangements, to develop skills and knowledge to become activists and to stand for election to positions.