Back to all Motions

2012 National Women's Conference
20 October 2011

Conference acknowledges that UNISON publishes some valuable information and guidance material for branches, activists and members on a regular basis and on varying workplace issues and/or recruitment based materials.

Yet conference believes that there is not enough UNISON material tailored specifically for women and that the design and format of existing publications for women sometimes appear outdated, often too typical of all UNISON literature and not necessarily reflecting the diversity of all our women members. UNISON encompasses women members from different ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, women who define as lesbian, bisexual or trans, disabled and young women. Each will be attracted to the services and information of UNISON for different reasons and by a variety of advertising methods. Therefore, literature pertaining to women should take into account that one size does not fit all.

In the South East, some women members have reported that much information targeted at women members can often go unnoticed by branches and women members, it would be beneficial to create an easily recognised ‘themed’ look or ‘logo’ such as the LGBT ‘OUT in UNISON’ logo or the Young Members logo which is now so readily recognised by branches and activists. Conference notes that the ‘Women in UNISON’ logo sometimes used by more randomly and not necessarily ‘as a rule’ on all materials that are aimed at women, for example UNISON’s ‘Health & Safety’ for Women’ guide book.

As a consequence, much of the information especially with regards to recruitment, training opportunities, forums and conference could go unnoticed by branches and women members. This might be reflected in some of the persisting difficulties of increasing the participation of women in union activities especially at a local level.

Considering women make up sixty five per cent of the public service workforce – much higher in some sections such as NHS (seventy seven per cent) and Local Government (seventy five per cent), Schools (eighty two per cent) – and that women make up seventy five per cent of UNISON membership, conference believes that more investment could be made to improve the design and content of UNISON literature and materials for women members, women activists and most importantly for potential women members. Taking into account facts such as, the size and gender make up of the Public Service workforce, there are potentially hundreds of thousands of women workers to recruit. Maintaining our current strength and building our union for the future will rely, not solely but nonetheless predominantly on ensuring that UNISON is the union that women public service workers want to join.

Conference therefore instructs the National Women’s Committee to work with women members of the NEC, National Service Groups, National Self Organised Groups to:

1)Create a new and modern ‘branded’ logo for women in UNISON, to be used on all materials aimed at our women members and potential women members.

2)Produce a ‘women’s recruitment pack’ to be disseminated to regions and branches for use at all recruitment events.

3)Update and modernise existing leaflets, guides, factsheets, booklets aimed specifically at women, to adopt the new women in UNISON look.