I’m in Scotland this week to meet some of our fantastic members and activists, so it was fitting – and a real pleasure – to address UNISON’s Scottish Women’s Committee this morning.
Since our union was first established, Scotland and our Scottish members have always been at the heart of our union. It’s a place that means a great deal to me and somewhere that I’ve always had a strong connection to.
And as a union with over a million women members, we have always fought to ensure that we are the best union for women, with women playing a leading role at every level.
Every major success that our union has is based on our strength as a women’s union. Whether it’s winning in the Supreme Court on Employment Tribunal Fees, being at the forefront of the WASPI campaign or our work on pay and the gender pay cap – in our union, the agenda of UNISON women and the agenda of our union should always be one and the same.
That’s part of what makes our union different. It’s part of what makes our union UNISON, and makes me proud to be UNISON.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement. Women make up the vast majority of our membership, but I know that sometimes it can still be too difficult for our women members to be heard. That needs to change.
The commitments that were made to women members almost a quarter of a century ago matter as much today as they did then – and as we approach our union’s 25th anniversary celebrations, we must return once again to those commitments, and renew them for the next quarter century to come.