How we are organised
UNISON recognises the importance of its LGBT members and its responsibility for paying particular attention to our needs: that LGBT rights are trade union issues. UNISON's commitment to equality and to tackling discrimination is written into the union's rules. UNISON's support for LGBT rights has not come out of thin air. It is the consequence of many years of work and lobbying by our activists. Members meet as a self-organised group at branch, regional and national level.
There is a developing network of branch LGBT groups which meet to discuss local terms and conditions, build a support network for members facing problems at work, provide a forum for the debate of issues, assist members in gaining the confidence to get involved in other levels of the union. Branches join together and feed into:
Each of UNISON's 12 regions has a group which meets regularly. Regional groups are involved in a whole range of activities - taking up places on the regional structures to represent our members, organising training courses for activists, supporting the formation of branch groups, working closely with the other self-organised groups in UNISON. Regional groups each elect two representatives to the national level. View the contact details for all the regional officers here:http://www.unison.org.uk/out/pages_view.asp?did=80
LGBT self-organisation at a national level is co-ordinated by the national committee. There are two seats for each regional LGBT group on the committee, plus seats reserved for bi and trans members, and for black and disabled LGBT members. The national LGBT committee is a recognised part of the union structure and works with other national committees, such as the national executive council and national negotiators, to ensure our rights are being taken up in every forum.
Working together in UNISON
The majority of UNISON's members are women and the union as a whole is committed to proportionality. This means women are represented at all levels of the union hierarchy in the same proportion as in the general membership.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members - stronger together
In UNISON, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members work together to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and build equality for us all. We believe we are stronger together. But we also recognise it's important to make room for the distinctive voice of bisexual members and transgender members. These groups have reserved seats on the national committee, to ensure they are well represented, elected at annual national bi and trans network days.
Black and disabled LGBT members
Because lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not a uniform group, and because our community is as prone to racism and discrimination against disabled people as the rest of society, black and disabled members meet as distinctive groups within our self-organised group.The national committee holds annual meetings for black and disabled LGBT members. These national network days elect members to the national committee and formulate proposals to go to the annual national LGBT conference.
To find out more
There is information about our conference and network days elsewhere on this site or firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries.