Access to immigration advice and representation to recruit and organise new members

Back to all Motions

2019 National Black Members' Conference
13 September 2018
Carried as Amended

All Health Trusts in our region have recruited new nurses from the Philippines. Our activists have been working hard to try and recruit them and include them in UNISON.

One of the most useful tools to attract migrant workers has been our immigration advice clinic.

On top of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) helpline accessible through UNISON direct, we have a monthly face to face clinic with a solicitor. This has been a fantastic resource that has allowed us not only to recruit new members, but also have relevant up-to-date advice to organise around immigration issues. This is particularly relevant in the context of Brexit and of the hostile environment.

However, organising around immigration issues requires being able to follow through when someone needs support. At present when immigration and employment collide, we are left with advice only when we also need representation.

Conference calls on the National Black Members Committee to continue to use their influence with all UNISON structure, to continue to develop a more comprehensive immigration service including advice and representation for members. This must support UNISON to continue to lead campaigns against an increasingly hostile immigration environment. This will assist branches in recruiting, representing and organising Black migrant workers.

We recognise that Black members who are not fully settled in the UK or do not have British Citizenship, immigration legislation is a major issue. The NBMC have been working tirelessly hard to address this issue and welcome the advice line through the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and the Migrant Rights Network (MRN).

We also recognise that current immigration processes lead to unfavourable treatment against Black workers especially those who do not have full legal rights to reside in the UK, and welcome this motion as the National Black Members’ Committee continue to pursue the request for the advice line to be available at a local, regional level and increased access via the Services to Members Committee in UNISON and report back to future conferences”

We would also encourage the Northern Ireland Region to take up the vacant position on the National Black Members Committee to enable further joint work in addressing these important issues