Bring back diversity

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2015 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
9 June 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that the Police Service, the National Probation Service and the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies are facing ever deepening cuts. Equality and diversity officers, equality initiatives and diversity training can be seen as easy targets, a luxury for the good times, contrasted to so-called front line services.

Conference asserts that equality is never a luxury. Specialist equality posts and targeted equality actions, together with equality impact assessment of practices, procedures and changes should be an essential part of good employment and good service delivery across police and justice.

In the context of cuts to many equality posts and initiatives, Conference welcomes moves to revitalise the Gay Police Association in England as the National LGBT Police Network, involving both police officers and police staff. This is alongside the existing National Trans Police Association, which will have a seat on the national board of the new LGBT Network, and the Gay Police Associations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. While such equality groups should not be a substitute for mainstream organisational action on equality, or be used to bypass the unions on representing LGBT members or on negotiations, they can provide a vital lifeline, particularly with strong trade union involvement.

Conference notes that the diversity organisations within probation have survived drastic cuts to their funding and facilities. Despite these cuts, they continue to organise, with the support of UNISON and NAPO. A number of our activists are involved in LAGIP, which supports LGBT staff working within probation and family courts in England and Wales. They also work with Trusts and NOMS on equality impact assessments and other issues.

Conference calls on the police and justice service group executive to:

1)continue to call for specialist equality posts and equality initiatives across police and justice services, as well as the mainstreaming of equality impact assessment as part of business as usual;

2)continue to promote UNISON engagement with equality networks within our sectors, alongside our own self-organisation.