UNISON votes unanimously for trans equality in local government

A commitment to provide members with materials to counter the ‘gender critical’ narrative is agreed

Anu Prashar and other conference delegates

UNISON local government conference unanimously passed a motion in support of trans rights this afternoon, recognising the importance of the union being loud and visible in support of its trans members.

Speaking in support of the motion, UNISON LGBT+ delegate Anu Prashar commented on the hostile media treatment of trans women in particular saying “this is the same tactic used against gay men in the section 28 era, when they were portrayed as sexual predators and a danger to children. We have seen it all before.

“This is why our union needs to be at the forefront of this debate, making sure our trans members are able to go to work free of fear, harassment and bullying.”

The motion also encouraged the negotiation of inclusive language in local government agreements and policies, urging branches to promote the fact sheet ‘why pronouns are important’ and ask employers to adopt a policy that allows all staff to have their pronouns on name badges, ID cards and email signatures.

Ms Prashar said: “You don’t have to be trans to fight for trans rights, you can be a trans ally. We have a new training programme on being a trans ally and are rolling it out across branches and regions.”

The motion also included a commitment to provide members with materials to counter the ‘gender critical’ narrative and provide information on the links between the gender critical movement in the UK and the far right.

Conference agreed that targeting a minority, and spreading false information to provoke hatred and distrust by preying on people’s fears, are ‘classic far right recruitment tactics’.

Speaking in support of the motion, Jenny Black condemned the UK government as the “laughing stock of Europe”, saying that it has fallen from the leading LGBT+ country in Europe to the 14th due to the treatment of trans people.

Luca Di Mambro-Moor from UNISON Surrey country branch spoke of how local councils have been pressured to withdraw from the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, and that the climate of transphobia in the UK has led to more non-trans women being challenged on their gender, being targeted because they “don’t look woman enough”.