This is a message from Stewards and activists
in City of Edinburgh UNISON branch who are also
LGBT members and who coordinate the branch LGBT
group activities, which are supported by UNISON
staff and Branch Officers, including the Equalities
Officer whose role is to offer guidance to the
group as necessary.
This page is for you! We want you to use it as
a resource, to be able to find out how we are
carrying out work on your behalf. Contact the
branch Office for details of our monthly meetings
at 6.30 on the first Tuesday of the month.
How we organise
Our group is made up of any Unison member who
identifies as LGBT and is a member of City of
Edinburgh Local Government branch - this includes
members working in national community and voluntary
sector organisations, who have been accepted into
membership of the Branch.
We plan to hold several meetings per year and
feed into local, Scottish-wide, national and international
events, to which all LGBT members are welcome.
A committee, which again, is made up of LGBT
members, carries out work based on the decisions
following LGBT conference, which was held in November
last year. See LGBT Conference Report to Branch
We perform more roles than this, as we are entitled
to representation on many branch and regional
sub-committees, other self-organised group committees,
Regional Council, and the National LGBT Committee.
The committee's structure allows for us to have
reserved seats for women, black, disabled, bisexual
and transgender members.
Office bearers are elected annually and priorities
for developing and strengthening the purpose of
the LGBT Group are determined.
For more information about this, or the LGBT
conference, click the link to join the confidential
mailing list www.unison.org.uk/out/mailinglist.
What about you?
As a member led organisation, National and Scottish
LGBT conferences sets the agenda for the National
and Regional LGBT Committees for the following
But we need your involvement to do this.
member of the branch, whether LGBT or not, needs
to understand the rights that LGBT workers have
in the workplace right now. For example, did you
know that it is illegal for you to suffer discrimination
whilst in employment, if you are an LGB worker?
Or that the Gender Recognition Act 2004 gives
specific protections (and this does include fines
for non compliance with the law) in respect of
record keeping, and by definition ensuring that
transgender workers are not 'outed' by your HR
or personnel department, whether before, during
or after transition?
Since December 2005, people living with conditions
such as HIV/AIDS, and some cancers and mental
illnesses are now protected under the Disability
Discrimination Act from discrimination at work
and we must all use this important piece of legislation
to encourage employers to have flexible, but robust
sickness policies, that will protect workers who
wish to disclose their illnesses, in confidentiality,
We, as trade unionists, should ensure that where
sickness policies are being re-written, that they
do not seek to exclude, but are inclusive, and
protect those who will need to take sickness and
There is more about these pieces of legislation
on other pages of this site, click the link which
will take you to the Equalities Zone of the Bargaining
If you are suffering from discrimination at work,
you should contact your local steward, or the
branch office - they will be able to put you in
touch with a steward if there is not one in your
Or, why not think about becoming a steward
There is comprehensive training available from
the region - again, contact the branch office
for more information.
The wider picture - International
course, our role as UK based trade unionists has
been to ensure that we fight discrimination in
the workplace, but we must not lose sight of the
fact that over 70 countries worldwide do not allow
same sex partnerships, or even criminalise people
from the LGBT communities for being gay.
Even in some states within the former Soviet
Bloc, where sexual orientation discrimination
is outlawed, there are still people being ostracised
and discriminated against in societies and communities.
There are countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean
regions which outlaw discrimination in statute
or penal codes.
Thanks for stopping by our pages, and we hope
that by reading this information, you will feel
encouraged to join in one of our meetings, get
involved in your branch as a steward, or take
some campaigning information to your workplace.
unions launch LGBT equality handbook
(1 October 2007) UNISON welcomes the second international
LGBT trade union forum, held jointly by Public
Services International (PSI) and Education International
(EI) in Vienna in September. The forum launched
new advice to unions on organising for LGBT rights
and a new website to publicise best practice.
health - your say
Stonewall are conducting an anonymous survey
of the health and well-being of women who sleep
with women. Not a lot is known about our health
needs and the findings of this survey will help
make sure that services meet our needs. Have your
say at: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/health
Trans recruitment leaflet
New recruitment leaflet setting out the benefits
of UNISON membership to trans workers, emphasising
UNISON's commitment to trans equality and the
right to confidential advice. Copies can be ordered
from UNISON communications, stock number 2578
PDF (85996 bytes)
(17/5/2007) May 17th has been named as International
Day Against Homophobia. UNISON - and other groups
where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
work in coalition - are marking it as International
Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia