Raising the profile of Black activists

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2019 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
21 February 2019

UNISON is committed to fair representation and proportionality (Rule D4.1). However, within the WET sector we do not see enough Black members represented at branch, regional and national committee level.

Raising the profile of Black activists within Water, Environment and Transport employers and increasing the number of Black members involved at branch, regional and national levels within the WET service group and wider union is critical in meeting UNISON’s recruitment and organising objectives.

Conference also notes the Leadership School where activists can take steps to develop their leadership skills and take up positions of increased responsibility. Members who have attended this school have gone on to become branch secretaries and employed staff.

Black members play a valuable role in ensuring the union and branches identify and take up equality issues and actively challenge discrimination within the workplace. This is key in meeting the unions current challenges as no workplace where discrimination exists can be truly organised.

Conference asks that the WET Service Group Executive works across regions to encourage WET branches to do what they can to empower Black workers to become activists and to become involved with their self organised groups. Encouragement should be given to help Black workers become stewards and to increase participation in their Branch Committees with the view to becoming active in their regions and the wider union.

Conference asks that the WET Service Group Executive seek to:

1) Conduct a survey of branches nationally to establish how many branches have Black self organised groups and how we can encourage this development in branches to support promotion of becoming active in WET and UNISON;

2) Work with the National Black Members Committee on joint initiatives that will encourage Black workers to join UNISON and become active within its structures;

3) Work with regions and branches to increase the number of Black activists in the WET sector;

4) Remind branches and members by circulating information of the support and guidance available to Black members to become activists;

5) Report on progress to the WET conference 2020 with a view to continuing the work and providing regular updates to the WET sector.