UNISON’s LGBT members face continuing prejudice and discrimination, in and outside work

This weekend UNISON’s LGBT conference is taking place in Llandudno. I want to wish everyone who’s attending my very best wishes for a successful conference – this is the message that I have sent to the conference:

I want to wish you all the very best for a positive and productive UNISON LGBT conference. I know how much this conference matters to you and to all of UNISON’s LGBT members. And it matters to me, to UNISON and to all of our 1.3 million members too.

I am so proud that this union and our members have been campaigning for equality since the early 1970s. The decades since have seen a great many changes – whether you’re L, G, B or T. As I’ve said before, we’ve gone from criminalisation to celebration.

Yet even in an increasingly modern and open Britain – with strong equal rights legislation – UNISON’s LGBT members still face continuing prejudice and discrimination, both at inside and outside of work.

Your union stands behind you against discrimination no matter what form it takes. We will continue to fight it alongside all of you until the stain of prejudice is finally eradicated from our society, and the equal rights of legislation are borne out through real equality across our country.

But we also need to recognise that fighting for LGBT members is about more than just LGBT campaigns, because you’re doubly hit by the impact of cuts – as public sector workers, and then because the discrimination you face means you’re often more likely to need those same services.

That’s just one of the findings from the report “Implications of reductions to public spending for LGB and T people and services” that I’m proud to say is being released – thanks to UNISON’s support – at this conference.

So best wishes from me, and from all UNISON members for this weekend, and for the year ahead. You are such a huge part of what makes this union great – thanks for everything you do.