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2022 National LGBT+ Conference
29 July 2022

Conference notes that one of UNISON’s main aims is ‘to seek to ensure equality of treatment and fair representation for all members and to work for the elimination of discrimination on grounds of race, gender, sexuality, gender identity, disability, age or creed’.

To achieve this, UNISON seeks for branches to have equality co-ordinators, whose role it is ‘to be the central liaison point for equality in the branch and to distribute information on equality issues’.

An audit in the North West this year identified that less than half of branches had an elected equality co-ordinator, and less than a third had a LGBT+ officer.

Conference believes that if branches cannot recruit to this core officer position, then it will be that much more challenging for self-organised groups to develop and flourish, and it will be less likely that those branches will consider the equality dimension to bargaining work, including bargaining for LGBT+ and trans+ policies with the employers they organise in.

Conference therefore calls on the national LGBT+ committee to:

1. Work with the national Black members’ committee, the national women’s committee, the national disabled members’ committee and the national young members’ committee to develop and deliver a campaign about why equality is UNISON business, including highlighting the resources available to activists, celebrating where UNISON has successfully made work better for those with protected characteristics and demonstrating the opportunities available to members if they choose to get more involved with UNISON;

2. Consider how training and workshops that are delivered to LGBT+ members and officers can be shared with all UNISON activists, which could include running a national LGBT+ awareness session;

3. Produce a series of articles showcasing a diverse range of equality coordinators, exploring why they became activists, what they’ve achieved and what equality means to them.