Attacks on Facility time

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2015 National LGBT Conference
23 July 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the Trade Union Bill is just a start on a wide scale attack on trade unions and activists. Clause 13 of the bill includes a reserve power which can permit the government to introduce a cap on the amount of money spent on facility time in the public sector. This, in addition to cuts in staffing levels, will have a detrimental effect on the rights of representatives to carry out their duties.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists often start their activist ‘career’ as LGBT or equality reps, posts which do not have a right to statutory time off to undertake their duties. Furthermore, these activists often undertake a number of different roles within their branches and regionally.

Anecdotally, activists report that even when there is a good working relationship with management, they cannot take facility time to undertake their duties at particular times. This is because there would be insufficient staffing levels in their substantive role while they are supporting their member colleagues who have increasing needs in their workplace. This could lead to a loss of activists as they grow frustrated and demoralised with fighting to get the time they need to undertake their duties.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to:

1. Work with appropriate internal and external bodies to campaign that public services have sufficient staffing levels;

2. Produce guidance to support LGBT activists in accessing the facility time they are entitled to.