#undc23 Conference overwhelmingly backed the call from the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus Committee to make 2024 the Year of LGBT+ workers.
The year will be used to raise awareness of LGBT+ rights and the discrimination LGBT+ workers face. It will promote UNISON’s equality work and showcase the success of LGBT+ members in the workplace and the union.
Supporting the call, Watty Gaffney from NHS Glasgow, Clyde and CVS Branch called for a renewed vigor in our work to improve LGBT+ equality “and that starts in our union.
“We are seeing rollback of our rights across the globe reflective of the barbaric section 28 which many of us faced in our teens and we don’t want to go back there,” warned Watty.
He pointed to figures released on Tuesday in Scotland which showed the proportion of charges aggravated by someone’s sexuality has more than doubled, rising from 16% in 2013-14 to 33% in 2022-23.
New statistics published by the Scottish Government have revealed that the number of hate crimes recorded against transgender people has soared by 68 per cent from 2020/21 to 2021/22 and has increased more than threefold over a seven-year period.
Watty said, “The Scottish LGBT+ committee took a similar call to this to the STUC LGBT+ workers conference where it passed unanimously.
“So let’s build on that, pass this motion then take it to the TUC for a countrywide approach.”
First time speaker, Cassie Greenford, from the Scotland FE branch told delegates that as a transgender, pansexual woman and as a delegate representing LGBT+ workers this was a topic very near and dear to her heart.
She too spoke about the increase in attacks on LGBT+ people both here and in the USA – and pointed to Florida which has just legislated to force people to use facilities such as restrooms which match their sex assigned at birth.
Cassie called for UNISON support for LGBT+ members. “This means more than simply creating a new logo incorporating the pride flag, this means actively lobbying against the homophobic and transphobic rhetoric that we are seeing.”