Recruiting and organising LGBT members

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2016 National LGBT Conference
28 July 2016

Conference recognises the importance that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) conference has always placed on recruiting new members – both into the union and as activists into our LGBT structures. LGBT members continue to have an important role in that recruitment work. Conference understands that UNISON’s aim to increase participation of underrepresented groups remains a key priority and that recruitment and retention of these members is key to democracy within the union.

Conference believes that organising is at the centre of our union and that there has never been a more important time for workers to be in a union. Conference notes that in a time of fragmenting workspaces and disparate workforces, there are increased challenges in recruiting and retaining members. The ways that LGBT self-organised groups (SOGs) organise needs to change to reflect these changes.

Changes in ways of using social media and the push in many areas for virtual meetings does not end the need for meetings in the flesh and we must always reflect the needs and requirements of our local groups.

The national LGBT committee is proud that at this year’s conference we are launching an LGBT area on UNISON’s online Organising Space; this is for all LGBT activists to join and will offer another way for members to network and share best practice. We envisage that this space will also offer new opportunities for our members to engage with each other and will allow more experienced activists to provide support for new activists.

Conference welcomes the success that Black members have had in setting up a ‘cluster branch group’ in the Eastern Region. In many cases it is more practical for members from a ‘cluster’ of different branches in a particular geographical area to meet together and form networks. It is important that we encourage such groups and ensure that they are adequately resourced and supported.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to:

1. Keep recruitment activities a high profile aspect of branch and regional LGBT groups;

2. Share good practice and promote the innovative ways that local and regional SOGs are using to organise;

3. Ensure there is up to date guidance on recruitment and organising tactics that are reflective of our community;

4. Encourage branches and regions to share their good practice in recruitment and organising;

5. Continue to reinvigorate recruitment material and initiatives; including use of social media as well as traditional methods.