This year’s LGBT Conference was held at the Bristol City Centre Marriott Hotel. Over 350 Delegates from 179 Branches across the UK were there representing the LGBT community to carry issues that are important to the LGBT community.
Conference heard from three Guest Speakers. Eleanor Smith, UNISON Vice-President. Fiona Mactaggart MP, Shadow Minister for Equality and Yesimi Ilesanmi, Nigeria Labour Congress. All of these Guest Speakers carried the same message - We must fight the cuts to Public Sector and Services that are vital to the LGBT Community.
Of the many debates over the weekend the unifying theme was the damage that the Government's spending cuts are going to have on LGBT people. From the impact on LGBT disabled members of cuts to Disability Living Allowance, to the cuts to already patchy services supporting Transgender to transition, to funding cuts for LGBT community organisations.
But the resolve of delegates was clear, that we are united and ready for the fight. LGBT Self-organised Groups are an example to other parts of the union, with strong links to community groups which we need to mobilise wider support for our campaign.
Each group must be out there taking UNISON's Million Voices into the community as well as mobilising LGBT members, that way we won't just have a Million Voices, but a million feet on the streets of London come March 26th.
"Together we will defend our public services and speak up for LGBT equality – that's why I'm proud to be here today."
That was the message from UNISON vice-president Eleanor Smith, addressing the union's LGBT conference in Bristol and introducing the theme that would be heard from speaker after speaker.
Delegates stressed that recruitment was more important than ever in the fight against the Con-Dem coalition government's cuts.
Conference heard Ms Smith say that "recruitment is our number one priority” and that theme was taken forward as delegates discussed how to grow the union, inside self-organised groups and in the workplace as a whole.
Tim Roberts of the LGBT national committee described it as: "A huge organising challenge", adding: "We're stronger together – get organised!"
Another delegate said: "It isn't what the union can do for you, but what you can do for the union."
As conference got its teeth into the issues, another delegate issued a challenge: "Each and every one of us needs to stand up and be counted.
"There is strength in numbers – everyone has a part to play."
Another common theme amongst the Debates was Domestic Abuse, Conference heard from two speakers who told us about their own struggles against Domestic Abuse, the effect it has had on their lives and the ever growing need to raise public awareness not only at home but also within the emergency services who are the frontline teams dealing with Domestic Abuse.
There were three Motions from the Northern Region submitted to Conference this year.
o LGBT Victims of Domestic Abuse
o Support for Older LGBT people in Rural Areas
o Recognition of Civil Partnerships - An International Issue, a Human Rights Issue
All of these Motions were debated at Conference and all three Motions were passed by Conference.
Several of the Northern Region Delegates stood and spoke on various Motions this year, and we had more Delegates and Visitors than ever attending Conference.
Conference also heard about UNISON LGBT International campaigns. There are still countries in the world where identifying as LGBT will lead to Death. We cannot let this happen to our LGBT brothers and sisters worldwide.
“We must stand up and fight for Equality” was the closing statement from Yesimi Ilesanmi from the Nigeria Labour Congress, who herself has stood in the face of discrimination and hatred because of her sexuality.
On a lighter note, there is a social aspect to the LGBT Conference. The South West region hosted a Reception on the Friday night and a Social Mixer on the Saturday night. The local Gay Scene in Bristol also welcomed all of us warmly into their bars and clubs. The Bristol City Centre Marriott hotels also welcomed us openly and were more than happy to cater to our needs. I myself have made many new and valuable friends across the UK because of the Conference.
I am very proud to come from the Northern Region as a first time Visitor and a young member.
“The feeling here at conference is warm and friendly, I have made many new friends and I have not felt intimidated at all with it being my first time at any Unison Conference .”
I am thankful to my Branch for letting me attend the LGBT Conference 2010 and I look forward to next year’s conference which will be held in Glasgow.
15-21 May 2017. The theme this year is Curious and Creative for Learning at Work Week.
Starting 24 April 2017, these courses can be done online or paper based.
Branch nominations and ballot details.
This newsletter includes an update on the changes to the Bereavement Support Payment as well as contact details for ‘Down to Earth’, who provide practical and emotional support throughout the funeral process.
Winners in March.
Executive pay bandwagon rolls on
Cycle courier entitled to holiday pay
Employment law changes this April
New minimum wage rates kick in
UK lags on maternity
Merger heralds new teaching union
Consultation on caste discrimination
New courses for members and stewards.
Inflation leaps to 3.2%
More regulation of gig economy needed
Appalling risk of suicides in construction
Fat cats — the great pay divide
Racist abuse after Brexit vote
Lack of diversity at top in Wales
Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.
Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.
Nottinghamshire Police have taken the bold step to identify misogyny as a hate crime and Northern UNSION are keen for this to be replicated in our region. The aim of the event is to identify how we can move the issue forward across the region with all three Police and Crime Commissioners.
Swings and scooters of inflation basket
No real improvement in weekly earnings
Cosmetic improvement with Living Wage
Zero-hours contracts at record high
Unemployment falls below 1.6 million
Agenda and annual report.
Economic forecasts in Hammond's Budget
Mixed fortunes in ethnic women's pay gap data
Company merger and acquisitions in 2016
Numbers on zero-hours contracts at a high
GMB take on DX delivery firm
Former chancellor's nice big earner
Charter to stop violence at work
Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.
Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.
A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division. 18 March 2017.
March calendar of events and activities.
Trade Union Act regs come into force
Gender pension gap leaves women short
Violence at work — the nasty truth
Bookseller's £7m salary
Money purchase pension are norm
British Gas denied appeal in Lock case
Government fails in ethnicity review
Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.
Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.
Winners in February.
Morning seminar and afternoon remembrance service in Hartlepool on Friday 28 April 2017. There is also an Eve of WMD ‘Gig’ on Thursday 27 April.
Government green paper on pensions
A 'Stern diet' for fat cat directors' pay
Employers — don't miss out on talent
Argos repays £2.4 million to 37,000 staff
Economic growth revised upwards
Work fears of disabled people revealed
Migrants have helped make Britain. It’s time to celebrate us
NHS at breaking point, according to British Medical Association
Councils prepare to cut essential services to fund adult social care
London transport spending equivalent to £1,500 more per head than North East
Minimum wage cheats named and shamed
Inflation hits three-year high
Unemployment at 11-year low
Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings
Migrants are always the scapegoats. But now they’re taking on Ukip’s lies
I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?
English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse'
North East peers want law to make Government investigate impact of Brexit on region
North East recruitment drive revealed as jobless total in region rises
UK employment growth driven by foreign nationals, figures show
The NHS needs a rethink. Its priorities no longer make sense
Top Labour politicians come to 'UKIP area' Sunderland for Brexit debates and festival
Rothbury Community Hospital inpatient ward closure public meeting this week
Shopping will cost you more as prices rise, but is Brexit to blame?
Campaigners calling for u-turn over Post Office move
UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall
Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns
Then the Daily Mail came for Gary Lineker, and we said: ‘Enough!’
Brexit survey revealed: What you would do if given second shot at EU referendum
Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC
There will be a shameful betrayal of the Brexit low-paid
Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire
NHS 'pays £7.5m a year for 20 most expensive agency doctors'
Drive to bring health and social care together is a well-intentioned mess
Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.
Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017
Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017
Regional Education Calendar 2017
A&E in England had worst delays ever in January, leak suggests
Why was Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes the star of Prime Minister's questions?
Number of patients stuck in hospital 'far higher than NHS data shows'
It's time corporate tax dodgers started losing lucrative council contracts
More council housing needed in the North East - government report reveals
Council tax, youth funding and bins: 6 things to look out for from Sunderland budget meeting
TyneMet and South Tyneside colleges merger: What it means for jobs, campuses and its new name?
Review of tribunal fees finally published
Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices
Insecure work on rise
Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million
A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.
UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report
NHS ID scheme could deter eligible patients, say MPs
Councils may cut social care provision due to underfunding, LGA says
Nursery schools: ‘What society gives children less chance than their parents?’
Council tax rise planned for Northumberland residents as authority faces £36m cuts
'Trump can't hack Trebs' - the best signs from Newcastle anti-Trump demonstration
Racism at work
Economy grows but there's a shortfall
Advice on gender pay gap from Acas
Tories offer no solution on discrimination
Eight assaults a day in Welsh schools
A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.
Winners in January.
Northern Region Young Members AGM
UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.
Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.
In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.
Papers for the meeting on 6 February.
Death by a thousand fire service cuts
Guidance on stress
Modern-day slave traders jailed
Fees let bad bosses get off scot free
Top-ranked inclusive employers 2017
Get tough on pay, says pension funds
Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.
Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.
Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.
Wales to ditch parts of 2016 Trade Union Act
Inflation rates at highest since 2014
Retail inflation eating into earnings growth
UK unemployment at nine-year low
Public sector pay poised to fall by thousands in real terms, TUC says
May’s promise on workers’ rights is hollow if she doesn’t get a deal
NHS crisis: the one act of self-sacrifice that could rescue our health service
Politicians have ignored the working class for too long
World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%
Crisis, what NHS crisis? Theresa May must stop this denial
Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act
UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition.
Courier's tribunal win against CitySprint
TUC warns over Brexit threat to workers' rights
Lame excuses for not paying minimum wage
High street store fined over safety
Manufacturing output edges higher
Child poverty briefing
Winners in December.
Consultation on political fund review: December-January
We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.
Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.
UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.
'Precarious pay penalty' of zero-hours staff
Plans for a Universal Basic Income
2017 — economic forecasts for year
'Fat Cat Wednesday' has been and gone
Northern Ireland to reveal political gifts
UK's deficit in trade in goods gets ever worse
UK economic growth revised upwards