Recruiting and organising LGBT members in police and justice

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2016 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
16 June 2016

Conference notes the sustained attack on trade unions and trade union members carried out by the Tory government through what is now the 2016 Trade Union Act. Conference welcomes UNISON’s strong response during the passage of the Bill and affirms that our response now must be to increase our strength, recruiting more members and encouraging members to become activists.

Conference welcomes the track-record of the police and justice service group in promoting self-organisation as a core part of our organising strategy. Self-organisation brings members into UNISON and is often a starting point for new activists. It gives a platform to build a trained and active membership in our police and justice branches and a place to identify and challenge workplace discrimination, bringing issues to the attention of police and justice negotiators.

Conference welcomes the national training programme for branch lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) officers and contacts, which runs in February each year. An important part of the role of the branch LGBT officer is to support LGBT self-organisation within the branch. While we continue to aim for active LGBT groups in every branch, conference acknowledges that this is not yet a reality across police and justice. Where there is only one or a small number of activists, conference welcomes the practice of members from branches in a local area coming together to support each other and plan appropriate activities in a ‘cluster’ self-organised group. This has been successfully trialled by Black members in two police and justice branches in eastern region.

Conference calls on the police and justice service group executive, in liaison with the national LGBT committee, to:

1. Promote the benefits of self-organisation in police and justice branches;

2. Publicise the national training for branch LGBT officers and contacts, which next takes place on 7 February 2017;

3. Publicise initiatives and opportunities for branches in a geographical are to come together and support ‘cluster’ self-organised groups;

4. Circulate up to date LGBT materials, including organising and bargaining materials, to police and justice branches.