Special delegate conference agreed wholeheartedly that challenging discrimination and winning equality is at the heart of everything UNISON does, as delegates backed a call from the LGBT+ committee to develop a refreshed and forward looking equality strategy across all strands of the union’s organising and campaigning agenda.
This will include updating bargaining guides and ensuring that the language used by the union is inclusive of our non-binary members.
Supporting the motion on behalf of the NEC, Davena Rankin told delegates that challenging discrimination and winning equality is written into UNISON’s rule book and underpins all of our campaigning, bargaining and organising work.
She highlighted the vital importance self organised groups in leading the way is UNISON’s fight against all forms of discrimination, led by and informed by those who have the lived experience.
“Many of our activists started their activism through our young members forum or self organised groups,” said Davena, adding that our presidents and vice presidents are all active in self-organisation.
However, workplace discrimination remains persistent and widespread, she added, and it is vital that all of our activists have the skills, knowledge and confidence to call this out in the workplace.
“Our activists need to be confident when representing all of our members and when negotiating workplace policies as we know that in far too many instances HR departments lack knowledge in areas such as trans equality.
She reminded that UNISON produces bargaining factsheets on trans workers’ rights and a model trans inclusion policy. The LGBT+ committee are also in the process of rolling out Trans Ally training and Davena recommended that every branch runs this once it becomes available –
“While UNISON does some fantastic work, there is always room for improvement which is why we should always review what we have been doing to see how we can improve and adapt to the changing challenges and opportunities that present themselves to our members and our union.
“UNISON is a strong organising union that is lay member led, we all need to continue our fight for equality and lead the way on inclusivity.”
(Story: Kate Ramsden)