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UNISON LGBT+ Conference 2021 – Day 2 afternoon session

This afternoons session started with a welcome back and now it’s time for Motions to continue being discussed and agreed on, these motions were all carried.

  • Trans Equality – Louder and Prouder
  • BI+ Inclusion -Stronger Together
  • Conversion Therapy

Freedom of Information Request- s

  • National Disability Strategy: Smoke and Mirrors
  • Next Steps in the Campaign for Trans + and Non-Binary rights
  • a Hub of hope

You can read about the motions by clicking on the below document

During the above debates attention was drawn to the Pink News Article “High-profile appeal against anti-trans LGB Alliance’s charity” if you click on the link below you can read more…

Next up we had a speech from guest speaker – Taiwo Owatemi MP who is the Labour MP for Coventry North West, and has been an MP continuously since 12 December 2019. you can find her on – @TaiwoOwatemi

the final session today was a panel debate on LGBT+ Mental health which was very interesting with personal accounts from the panel of situations that have happened and the best practice, sign posting work to ensure people are as protected and supported as much as possible. questions were raised with concerns for Mental Health First aiders and support for them to carry out their work successfully but employers not providing any support.

A useful guide has been recently released on mental health policies and bargaining for change. click the document below to read in more details.

Attention was also drawn to the important document, Thriving at work The Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers. the important extract is the following…

“Deloitte conducted a systematic review of literature on the returns from investing in Mental Health in the workplace resulting in the inclusion of 23 high quality examples where investments were made in trying to improve mental health and where there was enough information to evaluate the impact. The return on investment of workplace mental health interventions is overwhelmingly positive. The average return per £1 spent was £4.20 (with a range of between 40p and £9), and this has been supported by international academic literature in the form of meta- studies”

you can read the rest of the document by clicking on the below

This concludes todays conference session and the next session will be tomorrow morning keep your eyes out for the next information.

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Unison LGBT+ Conference 2021 – Day 2 morning session

The opening of conference began with a welcome from

There was then a minutes silence to remember on those that have been lost over the past year.

This years bucket collection is going to Mermaids

The Standing orders committee report two was this contained amendments and emergency motions to be added to the order of business.

First day of conference began with a speech from Francia Blanco a trans domestic worker from Nicaragua working in Guatemala.

You can read more about her cause and listen to the podcast which explains the work Francia and the union she is part of where LGBTQ+ Domestic Workers win rights with their union. Click on the image to go to the website.

you can also watch the following video for more information.

Now we move on to the presentation of this years Annual Report to read the report in full please click on the below image.

Motions for the Negotiating LGBT+ Equality section of the annual report is now being discussed. you can read the motions by clicking on the below image.

These motions were… all were carried.

  • Supporting ~Stonewall and our Trans Community
  • Working from home is s reasonable adjustment
  • sickness policy motion
  • Mental Health and suicide awareness to support LGBT+ members following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Introducing pronouns into the work place
  • Mental Health: A Trade Union Issue
  • Make Call Centres more trans friendly

during this debate the following how to be an ally fact sheet was discussed and the can be read below by clicking on the images

Christina McAnea adresses conference

Christina McAnea General Secretary addressed conference and some of her key points from her speech were as follows.

68 countries are still facing serious issues surrounding LGBT+

you should be able to live your life and be who you are

Transgender awareness day is important to remember, you can read more about it by clicking the below image.

Remind our self to unite fight common injustices and be aware that we all have the same fight towards the external forces. One of the quotes that inspires Christina “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution,” said Emma Goldman (1869-1940), this brought her speech to an end.

Now we move onto the International Work section of the Annual Report and the subsequent motions… all were carried.

  • Justice for Palestine
  • Trans Rights in Europe
  • Palestine
  • Solidarity with LGBT+ Afgans – Providing a place if safety
  • Defending International LGBT+ Rights

This concludes this mornings session of conference please look out for the next update this afternoon.

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Unison LGBT+ Conference 2021 – Panel Debate Session 1

Day 1 – Panel debate And first session in the conference hall 

This year there were no separate meetings as there was a need to ensure social distancing and reduced contact took place for all conference business. The main conference. 

Unison LGBT+ conference started with a debate for service groups prior to the main conference taking place. This explores how each area supports all in sensitive ways for each service group. 

There were speakers on each specific service area, these were the following

Maureen Le Marinel – Police and Justice Group

Jon Richards – Assistant General Secretary

Davina Rankin – Higher education

James Anthony – Health Service Group

Brian Morgan-Scrutton – WET and Energy Service groups

Key points and discussions were held around the following 

  • Better wider view of things that are happening in your workplace and other workplaces to be able to support all. 
  • How we experience discrimination is different for all in more ways than just sexuality.
  • looking at ways to support LGBT+ NHS workers and patients 
  • It’s important that when the time is right for you get involved in the unison structure and service groups when you can you will not regret it.
  • The SOGs have direct representation from service groups to report back to the SOGs to ensure that there is representation for all service groups.
  • NEC has a equality liaison group where members work together to ensure that all needs are considered for all groups and ensure that policies are categorised correctly.
  • Encouraging young members into Service Groups
  • People join a union for protection and support to ensure they can work effectively.  
  • Hybrid working but ensure it all staff are included that can and get support to do so. Working from home held more discussions around the certain issues facing those who can work from home and those who are not able to due to the nature of their work. 

Issues faced 

  • Pay and terms and conditions affects all service areas 
  • Issues around job evaluation schemes and changing of staff terms and conditions.
  • Job security affected due to current energy suppliers having increased costs and reducing employment levels in any way they can 
  • Issues faced with face to face contact reducing recruitment opportunities, use zoom, outdoor meets, professional groups visits.
  • Having the Covid-19 vaccination becoming mandatory by next year for all apart from exemptions, and also the effects of the mandatory covid-19 vaccination to work in a care setting. Vaccine hesitancy has an effect on all of these issues and not enough work is being done to support these workers.  
  • What’s being done for organisations who are saving money by staff working from home and getting no recompense but the money is now being banked. Budget constraints in public companies are absorbed however private companies may capitalise. 

Christina McAnea General Secretary of UNISON will be speaking to conference tomorrow.