Equality is UNISON Business

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2023 National Delegate Conference
16 February 2023
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that one of UNISON’s main aims is, as per UNISON’s rule book, “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 Coordinator, less than a quarter have a Black Members 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 Equalities with the employers they organise in.

When circulating matters relating to equalities including updates, issues etc. to Branches, Equality Coordinators, where in place, should also be included to avoid unnecessary delays in information being received, especially where urgent action is called for.

Conference therefore calls on National Executive Committee to:

1)Work with the National Black Members Committee, the National Women’s Committee, the National Disabled Members Committee, the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + Committee and the National Young Member Forum 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 on Equalities can be shared with all UNISON activists;

3)Produce a series of articles showcasing a diverse range of equality coordinators, exploring why they became activists, what they have achieved and what equality means to them;

4)Utilise the skills, knowledge, and experiences of Equality Coordinators, especially around matters of equalities, including when reviewing the annual Branch Development Plan;

5)To encourage all branches to send delegations to every national Self Organised Group Conferences.