Act to end barriers to work for people with disabilities

Tony Slaven
Tony Slaven

#stuc2017 Congress backed urgent action to support disabled people into work, amidst serious concerns that less than 50% of people with disabilities are in employment.

Supporting the motion from the Annual STUC Disabled Workers Conference, UNISON’s Tony Slaven slammed the two pronged attack against disabled people by the Tory Government.

“Not only has it become increasingly more difficult to get or keep a job but the government has decided to make it even harder to access the meager benefits entitled to the disabled,” said Tony.

“They clearly don’t want people with disabilities living on benefits, but oddly they don’t seem to want to support them in work either.

“That’s the madness of the Tory government policies!”

He pointed out that people with disabilities that can work want to and he called on the government to recognise what people can do not what they can’t.

“Yes, some people will require some adjustments. So what?” challenged Tony. “Do you think able bodied people don’t ever need help and support?”

He reminded delegates that the Scottish government has stated that it wants to take a different approach with a delivery plan for a fairer Scotland for disabled people, with targets for modern apprenticeships and a promise of a more humane benefits system.

“We need to ensure is that they continue to deliver on these promises,” urged Tony, “And that means we keep up the pressure to use all the powers they have to improve lives.”

He reminded us of the key role of trade unions in this process, and the need for activists to make sure that equalities law is implemented in the workplace. And the need to continue to recruit and train equality reps and give them the support they need to do their work.

“More than that,” said Tony. “It’s the job of us all to fight for equality. We must continue to work together to improve the lives of people with disabilities.”

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