Black women and ‘There for you’ (UNISON Welfare)

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2023 National Women's Conference
12 October 2022
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises that again and again Black females suffer economic disadvantage worldwide. Whether working as a domestic, a carers support staff, or in a senior management role. Black women fall into both gender and ethnicity pay gap lower earnings figures.

Conference, Black women across the UK already know that experiencing racism at work is the norm, however the campaigns of UNISON need to engage and advance the experiences of Black women members across all structures of the union.

In the current climate we know that many more of our members are having to go to food banks than ever before. We also know that this need will be higher for larger families and women who have caring responsibilities, two categories that Black women are disproportionally represented in. we also know that as donations to food banks drop while demand rises, people who need the service are going without.

It is in this climate that the work of UNISON and ‘There for you’ needs to be promoted to all members.

Anecdotal information received at conference from branches regions and devolved nations tell us that while some females will receive excellent support, development and advancement in branches developing a strong enhanced voice, others are not even given expenses to attend conference or other meetings in a timely way.

They do not see themselves represented and feel unable to approach branch secretaries for the many helpful UNISON initiatives that are in place, in particular seeking support for school uniform costs, payment of bills and clearing of debt, opening them up to increased levels of stress and mental health problems.

Conference, the National Black Members Committee believes that working with the National Women’s Committee we can create a programme of work that acknowledges and deals proactively with this disparity of experience and cultural stigma that may exist for many Black women

This conference therefore asks the National Women’s Committee to work with the National Black Members Committee in the ‘Year of Black workers 2023’ to:

1. Contact ‘There for you’ in association with the NEC Services to members to create a programme of work that acknowledges and deals proactively with this disparity of experience and any cultural stigma that may exist for Black women and promote the work of There for you’.

2. Develop and create a Comms action plan to ensure Black members, especially Black women are reflected equally through ‘There for you’ materials in the ‘Year of Black Workers’ 2023 and beyond.

3. Write an article in Black Action to further impress on Black women members that they are considered equally important to the union in all the areas of work that they do and the importance of their role on the National Women’s Committee to encourage further participation in all structures of UNISON.

4. Create and distribute a UNISON survey as to the experience of Black women member during this cost of a living crisis and signpost activities of UNISON to support our women members through this crisis.

5. The National Women’s Committee to consider inviting a speaker to the next annual conference with reference to progress on this issue.