- 2013 National Delegate Conference
- 20 February 2013
UNISON is proud to be the leading trade union for women. We have a solid history of women being at the heart of the union; through enshrining self organisation into our rule book along with proportionality. As a union which has a majority of women members we do not just talk the talk. Women are the foundation on which UNISON is built.
Women are now in unprecedented times. The Tory led government are attacking women on all sides: employment, terms and conditions, welfare reform, education, health care, cuts to public sector services, attacks on our equality and employment rights. UNISON women are at the front of the fight to oppose these draconian attacks.
The marches and the rallies that we have organised through UNISON and the TUC have seen thousands of our women members take to the streets to show that as public sector workers and citizens we will fight a government that wants to erode the quality of life that we have and to diminish our opportunities to achieve our potential.
As a union, UNISON has to harness the capability and enthusiasm of our women members; to build on those women activists that we have and to develop new women. It is incumbent on us to nurture new women members to come forward as activists and as leaders. Women’s experiences prepare them for leading our campaigns. This includes taking the message out to our families and communities, rallying support for our causes and highlighting the reality of what the coalition government is doing and the attacks they are making to the fabric of our society. Our strength is in our diversity. We are from all types of families and all communities and we can speak to the whole of society.
Experienced women need to be mentoring and buddying new women to come through whether that is at branch, regional or national level. It is our responsibility to pass on our knowledge to others.
Conference calls on the National Executive Council to:
1)continue to build our self-organised groups, increasing participation and fair representation in women’s self-organisation and encouraging women to participate in the other self-organised groups and young members organisation;
2)promote and develop mentoring and buddying across UNISON and to work with the relevant departments in UNISON to achieve this through training programmes including stewards training;
3)encourage branches to support women’s training designed to provide women with campaigning, negotiating and organising skills and involve them in all aspects of the branch’s work;
4)identify and encourage women to be role models within UNISON;
5)promote UNISON’s Women into Leadership training at local, regional and national level.