Building a stronger union – recruiting and organising lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members

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2013 National LGBT Conference
2 August 2013

Conference congratulates regional and branch lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups and the caucuses on the work they have done to recruit new members into UNISON. We all welcome UNISON’s major recruitment drive to strengthen our union, to enable us to better defend our members and to campaign even more effectively.

Conference believes national recruitment drives must continue and that we must not only recruit more LGBT members into UNISON but also encourage our LGBT members to become activists. Conference recognises that many LGBT members are not only active within LGBT self organisation, but in their regional, branch and service group democratic structures.

Over the last twelve months, LGBT members have again been out recruiting at community events across the United Kingdom, reaching existing members and encouraging activism. Conference reaffirms its stance that “like recruits like” and realises that in times when many branches are facing major reductions in their members due to cuts, LGBT self organised groups can assist with recruiting members.

We also understand that one single way of spreading our messages will not reach all our intended audiences. The continued use of traditional engagement through face to face contact and by mailings should not be our only tools. We must continue and expand our use of social media and other electronic aids to assist with recruiting and organising.

Conference calls on the National LGBT Committee to:

1. Promote recruitment initiatives used by regional and branch LGBT groups and the caucuses to spread good practice to LGBT members and the wider union;

2. Promote and circulate the ‘Organising at community events flowchart’ and our recruiting guidance which provides assistance for less experienced activists;

3. Use social media to assist with our recruiting and organising objectives alongside UNISON’s app as a way to engage new members and encourage existing members to become active;

4. Publicise and promote the work of regional and branch LGBT groups and caucuses on establishing and building on relationships with LGBT community organisations;

5. Continue to promote the annual LGBT recruitment and organising awards;

6. Work with the National Executive Council to encourage branches, regions and service groups to involve self-organised groups in developing and implementing recruitment strategies.