UNISON NDC 2023 : Harassment still a workplace issue

Despite being a a known issue for many years, harassment continues to be a major problem in the workplace. Conference backed a call from the National Young Members Forum calling on our union to model good behaviour and set out a range of measures to tackle bullying and harassment.


A huge number of delegates spoke passionately, highlighting very personal and often emotional stories and the long-lasting impact of being bullied and harassed while carrying out their job.


Supporting the motion and the amendment from the National Disabled Members Committee, Grace Hepburn Further Education Branch asked delegates to raise their hands if they had been subject to bullying, harassment or discrimination in the workplace. A large number put their hands up, and Grace called for “a round of applause for all the warriors in this room.”


She told conference it had also happened to her.


“I was bullied, harassed and discriminated against on the grounds of disability. And I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.


“I’m a union rep, it’s my job to stand up to this, not to become its victim.  But the stress of the situation exacerbated my conditions and I ended up going off sick.


“And it was my branch that supported me. It was the knowledge of the people in my branch, and the work that they put in, that saw us winning, and eventually I was able to return to work.


“So do I think that discrimination against disability and other protected characteristics needs tackled in the workplace? Yes I do.


“And do I think that our union is best placed to do that? You’re right I do!”

The mtotion was overwehelmingly approved.


NDC 2023 page