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2022 National LGBT+ Conference
14 September 2022

Conference notes that, during 2022, UNISON’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus (LGBT+) self-organised group (SOG) succeeded in raising the issue of trans equality widely within the union by submitting substantially similar motions to several UNISON conferences.

Their opportunity to do so is based on UNISON rules D1.10.4, D3.4.10 and D5.7.5 which entitle each SOG to submit motions to this conference and to each service group conference and on caucus arrangements etc in each of the SOGs enabling the LGBT+ members of each, organised as such, to submit motions to respective conferences.

This is in line with ‘Organising for Equality : UNISON Guidelines on Self-Organisation’ which “recognises the valuable role of SOGs in ensuring that the union identifies and takes up equality issues (and) challenges discrimination”. However, existing arrangements extend to only seven-eighths of UNISON members and leave SOGs with no opportunity to take up the same issues with the remaining eighth – the Retired Members’ Organisation.

Conference is therefore glad to note that a similar motion , ‘Trans Equality in Retirement’, was submitted to Retired Members’ Conference 2022. However, this was as a result of no collective initiative but of an individual member raising it with their regional retired members’ committee.

Conference believes that SOGs should not have to rely on such ad hoc initiative and further believes that, in view of the provisions of Organising for Equality, they should each have the opportunity to raise equality issues not with seven-eighths of UNISON members but with us all.

Conference would like either each SOG, as such, or retired Black, disabled, LGBT+ and women members, each organised as such, to have opportunities to raise equality issues with the Retired Members’ Organisation which are equivalent to the arrangements existing elsewhere in UNISON.

Conference instructs the National Executive Council to consult the SOGs, the Retired Members’ Organisation, the Young Members’ Organisation and others as appropriate on how to resolve this issue and to report to National Delegate Conference 2024 with proposals.