Including Retired Members (2)

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2012 National LGBT Conference
25 July 2012
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that:

1)UNISON has over 160,000 Retired Members, more by far than any other trades union in the United Kingdom and a number growing by about four per cent per year;

2)UNISON, uniquely, organises retired members in a structure that mirrors that of UNISON as a whole and UNISON Rules also provide for retired members to remain members of their respective branches thus in touch with members at work and able to access education & training and other services; and,

3)As for self-organised groups (SOGs), UNISON Rule D4 refers everywhere to ‘members’ without distinguishing membership category so retired members (who qualify to do so) may take part in SOGs’ open meetings (but not in elections) and their particular concerns are among SOGs’ legitimate remit.

However, conference is concerned also to note that:

4) Although thousands of retired members are likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) only a handful appear to take part in either the retired members’ organisation or the LGBT SOG; and,

5) This SOG’s weak and sporadic initiatives have failed to address this. We appear to lack any consistent approach to retaining and activating LGBT retired members, identifying and pursuing issues of particular concern to them or working with the retired members’ organisation.

Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to develop a more consistent approach to this area of work. This approach must recognise that retired members have a distinct status in UNISON Rules and therefore a different relation to the union as a whole from that of other under-represented groups.

In particular, Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to seek to ensure that the UNISON Equality Scheme includes targets to promote retaining and activating LGBT retired members and that, throughout the life of the scheme, performance against these targets be measured regularly and reported, with comment, each year in the National LGBT Committee’s report to this conference.