Don’t forget about us when we are not in the room: Black women getting active in UNISON

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2022 Virtual National Women's Conference
15 October 2021

UNISON can only be the strong, vibrant, effective union it strives to be if Black women are involved and active in every part of its work.

Black women are still underrepresented at branch, regional and national level even though UNISON has 1 million women in membership. This is a trend that the National Black Members Committee are looking to change by working with National Women’s Committee and supporting initiatives to include Black women across the union.

Equality of opportunity is the number one priority for Black women, but what happens to our issues when we are not in the room?

Black women members have an important role to play in fighting poverty, challenging injustice, eliminating discrimination. Their experiences and voices should be heard in our campaigns including domestic abuse, equal pay, pensions, menopause policies.

Getting involved with self-organised groups and becoming an activist is a great way for members to become more active in the union and to develop skills, expertise, and confidence. We all need to be a part of making this happen.

We call on the National women’s committee to:

1)Work with the NBMC to support Black women members by producing guidance and information, specifically on how to increase the number of Black women active in all union structures and encourage the implementation of proportionality and fair representation at branch level.

2)Undertake a survey to assess how many Black women are active in UNISON and find out how more Black women could get involved at senior levels in the union