- 2019 National LGBT+ Conference
- 25 July 2019
Conference welcomes the successful campaign to seek a rule change to become a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) Self Organised Group at this year’s National Delegate Conference (NDC). This change would not have been possible if it had not been for the work of our activists sharing the reasons for this important change at branch, regional and national levels including other national Self Organised Groups (SOGs) and Service Groups.
During this campaign numerous branches and regions received the LGBT+ presentation, debated motions of support, mandated their delegates and donated money to the ‘#SupportThePlus’ campaign. The work carried out was evident at the Service Group Conferences in the run up to and at NDC, with many branch activists stating they had heard about the campaign, declaring their branches fully supported the change and wore badges, stickers and t-shirts with pride throughout conference. This culminated in a unanimous decision to support the rule change, adding the Plus to our name.
Not for many years has there been this level of branch engagement on a national level, at which broader activists have heard and debated the issues facing LGBT+ workers and members.
We have heard of some of the incredible work various regions have been doing in partnership with branches to further our fight for LGBT+ equality in the workplace and to use Pride events as a vehicle to recruit new members at local events. Some Regional LGBT+ Groups have now flipped their role, to one where branches are now taking the lead in booking stalls and co-ordinating their entry into Pride Marches, including often paying for stalls and promotional materials from branch funds. This increases our capacity to participate in ever increasing numbers of local Pride events; staff stalls with local branch activists where members can discuss workplace issues; and to recruit new members.
Likewise, some regional groups have been sharing bargaining for LGBT+ equality information with branches in a range of different ways, from offering to deliver presentations at branch meetings; hosting LGBT+ training days open to non-LGBT+ branch activists; and using social media to raise awareness of our factsheets.
The opportunity to make these examples of best practice the norm and the time to deepen our relationship and engagement in our work with branches is now.
Conference calls upon the National LGBT+ Committee to:
1)Work with regional LGBT+ SOGs to update all references to our Group to include the ‘+’ including constitutions, recruitment materials (as these run out), forms, etc; encouraging them to do the same with branches;
2. Work with regional LGBT+ groups to identify best practice in partnership working with branches in LGBT+ recruitment and organising, sharing these through Regional LGBT+ Convenor Days, ‘Out In UNISON’ and e-bulletins;
3. Encourage regional LGBT+ SOGs to work with other regional SOGs and Service Groups to build LGBT+ recruitment and bargaining into their own work plans.