Encouraging Diversity in WET Committees

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2015 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
23 February 2015

In UNISON around 12% of our total membership identify as Black. UNISON is committed to fair representation and proportionality (Rule D4.1). However we know in the WET sector we do not see enough Black members represented at branch, regional and national committee level despite statistics telling us that Black people are still amongst those most likely to join a union. In furtherance of the Rule Book aims of self organisation, (D 4.2.1, 4.3.2. 4.3.3) and in line with the union’s aims and objectives; we acknowledge that further specific work can assist and encourage the participation of members who may feel marginalised. At a time when UKIP is promoting division in our communities; it is crucial that UNISON continues to lead the way in its view that diversity in our society adds value to us all. This is particularly relevant to the WET service group where Black workers and members are underrepresented.

Conference asks that the WET Service Group executive works across regions to encourage WET branches to do what they can to empower Black workers to become activists and to become involved with their self organised groups, with consideration to becoming stewards and increasing participation in their Branch Committees with the view to becoming active in their regions and the wider union as a whole.

Further, conference asks that the WET Service Group Executive seek to:

1)Conduct a survey of branches nationally to establish:

a)The UNISON membership of Black members in WET branches mapped against the level of employment of Black people for the employing bodies

b)How many branches have Black members self organised groups

2) Work with regions and branches to actively encourage the inclusion of Black members in WET branches

3) Report progress to the National WET conference 2016 with a view to continuing the work and publishing final results in the annual report to 2017 WET conference