Fair representation for Disabled Members in UNISON

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2015 National Delegate Conference
24 February 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference is concerned about the level of discrimination currently faced by disabled people. Cuts to public services, welfare reform, changes to health and social care, reductions in disabled students allowances and bedroom tax have all targeted disabled people.

To fight this campaign against disabled people, disabled people need to be politically and societally active. We need to ensure that disabled people are heard at all levels of society including within our own union. Branches and regions need to be encouraged to support Disabled Members Self Organised Groups and encourage disabled members to become activists and this work should be led from a national level.

UNISON’s rules state that the National Executive Council must include fair representation for women as well as reserved seats for young members and Black members. This is a credit to our union and confirms our commitment to fighting discrimination.

But Conference is concerned that these same positive steps have not been taken to support disabled members in their fight against discrimination. We commend UNISON’s excellent work to promote equality for disabled people. We recognise there are disabled members on the National Executive Council but they are there to represent their service group or region not disabled members. There is still a considerable amount of work to be done if our disabled members are to fight prejudice, discrimination and achieve equality and this can only be done if we are represented at all levels including on the National Executive Council.

Conference calls on the National Executive Council to work with the National Disabled Members Committee:

1)To carry out a consultation exercise, including the process for the nomination and selection of candidates, with other self organised groups, regions, branches and service groups to explore the benefits of having reserved seats for disabled members;

2)In light of the above to consider appropriate Rule Book changes to include reserved seats for disabled members on the National Executive Council.