Improving our work to reach Black young members

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2017 National Black Members' Conference
13 September 2016
Carried as Amended

This Conference notes that, at time of writing, there are around 3,700 Black young members in UNISON membership who have chosen to identify their ethnic origin on the RMS i.e. have identified themselves as either Asian other, Bangladeshi, Black UK, Black African, Black Caribbean, Black other, Chinese, Indian, or Pakistani. This represents approximately 6% of all young members.

Conference notes there are over 11,000 young members who do not have their ethnic origin recorded on the RMS – listed as ‘unknown’, ‘blank’, or ‘prefer not to say’. It is likely that a significant proportion of the 11,000 would also identify themselves in the categories listed above.

Conference believes that in order to reach out to young Black members and reaffirm our commitment that Black members are stronger together in UNISON to encourage participation, an important element of our work requires the fullest possible information. With this information we could, for example, develop a direct email contact with all young Black members.

Conference therefore calls on the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) to:

1)Run a campaign for members to ensure their membership details – including ethnic origin – are complete, and consider whether this could be incentivised to encourage take-up;

2)Call on all branches to ensure that all recruiters are reminded of the importance of encouraging members to complete the ethnic origin question on paper and online applications – not for ‘tick-box’ purposes, but for essential organising activity;

3)Report back to conference in 2018 on progress in this matter in the annual report, showing progress towards complete population of this data;

4)In the meantime, continue to work with the National Young Members’ Forum to reach out directly to Black young members to encourage their participation to write an article about their experience and why they joined UNISON, and encourage regional Black members groups to do likewise.

Submitted by: National Young Members’ Forum

NBMC Policy: Support