Non-binary inclusion

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2019 National Black Members' Conference
14 September 2018

Conference welcomes the work initiated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group to make UNISON’s organisation, events, policies, systems and good practice advice inclusive of non-binary members.

Non-binary people are people whose gender identity is not solely male or female. They may define themselves as both, neither or something different. While non-binary people are of all ages and as diverse as any other cross section of society, increasing numbers of young people in particular are identifying outside traditional binary gender norms.

Black non-binary members currently feel excluded from UNISON in terms of the Self Organised Groups (SOGS) and how the union is organised in relation to the structure of seats that are set aside for those who identify as male or female.

Conference notes that the steps taken at national level towards the inclusion of non-binary members in UNISON have included:

1)A factsheet, ‘Gender equality: non-binary inclusion’, which has been well received across the union;

2)A first UNISON survey of non-binary members;

3)Changes to a number of UNISON forms, including the national conference monitoring form, and systems;

4) An initial review of language in UNISON communications of all forms and a start on addressing non-inclusive language;

5) Advice to UNISON service providers.

Conference recognises the importance of working towards the inclusion of Black non-binary members within the Black members self organised group, LGBT SOG, and within the union as a whole, and that the National Black Members Committee (NBMC) has a very important role to play in this.

It is vitally important that Black non-binary members are given the same access to participation and activism in UNISON as those who identify as male or female. As a forward thinking and progressive union it is up to us to ensure that work is done enable full participation of Black non-binary members. This serves to promote the equality agenda that is at the heart of UNISON.

Conference therefore calls on the National Black Members Committee to:

a)Take steps to raise awareness within the Black members SOG of what non-binary means, and what it doesn’t mean by promoting training on non-binary inclusion within branches and regions;

b)Work with the National LGBT Committee to further the inclusion and participation of Black non-binary members in the Black members and LGBT members SOGs, and more widely in our union.