Negotiating for equality in a time of cuts

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2012 National LGBT Conference
26 July 2012

Conference notes that as we approach the third year of this Tory-led government’s attack on public service workers and failed austerity measures, swathes of workers face worsening terms and conditions. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are affected like any other worker, as pay and conditions are undermined. But the impact on terms and conditions for different groups of workers is rarely equal, with Black, disabled, young and LGBT workers disproportionately affected.

Conference believes that the scale of the challenge we face must not distract us from continuing to negotiate for equality in this time of cuts. This includes negotiating for robust assessment of the equality impact of changes to terms and conditions and mitigating action to reduce any unequal impact. It also includes continuing to seek improvements to workplace equality policy and practice for LGBT workers, given historic and persistent discrimination.

Conference welcomes the success of local and national negotiators in achieving new and improved LGBT-inclusive equality policies; dedicated policies such as on workplace gender transition; and in addressing the LGBT angle in a range of other policies such as sickness absence, family friendly, dress code and social media policies. Conference also welcomes successes in challenging the negative equality impact of cuts to terms and conditions.

Conference therefore calls on:

1)The National LGBT Committee to continue to update and promote its guidance and factsheets on negotiating for LGBT workers’ rights;

2)Regional and branch LGBT self-organised groups to raise awareness of these negotiating resources and to encourage regional, service group and branch negotiating teams to use them to improve LGBT workers’ equality;

3)LGBT members of our self-organised group to seek opportunities to raise negotiating issues and get involved in bargaining;

4)All to share good examples, to build the UNISON agreements database of policy and practice.