UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch





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Welcome to City of Edinburgh Council UNISON Branch LGBT members page

rainbow UNISON
How we organise| What about you? | The wider picture - International

Hi there.

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 Executive.

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 12 months.

But we need your involvement to do this.

MeetingEach 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, where necessary.

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 disability leave.

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 Section www.unison.org.uk/bargaining/equalities.asp

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 workplace.

Or, why not think about becoming a steward yourself?

There is comprehensive training available from the region - again, contact the branch office for more information.


The wider picture - International

InternationalOf 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.

Global 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.

Your 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

New 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 Acrobat 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 - IDAHOBITS!



. For urgent help and advice at work contact the branch office and go to Help at Work.

. UNISON's national officer (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality) is Carola Towle.
1 Mabledon Place
London WC1H 9AJ
Email: out@unison.co.uk

Out in UNISON - outside and inside the tent! Celebrating LGBT History Month: February 2008
Recent documents

LGBT equality at the heart of our union
LGBT Committee Annual Report 2007

Annual report of UNISON's National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Members Committee 2007

PDFAcrobat PDF (525257 bytes)

Out in UNISON 33 - winter 2007-08
Newsletter on LGBT equality in UNISON

This issue includes understanding gender identity; organising for LGBT equality - new activists course; union learning reps; increasing bi visibility; a guide to the General Political Fund; UNISON retired members; survival in Burma
PDFAcrobat PDF (2174996 bytes)

Discrimination Law Review
UNISON Response to the Green Paper

UNISON Response to the Single Equality Bill Green Paper.
Word document (273408 bytes)

Out in UNISON 32 - summer 2007
Newsletter for LGBT members in UNISON

This issue includes Charter for Change, equality impact assessments, monitoring advice, pride events, gender history and UNISON records, women's rugby and more.
PDFAcrobat PDF (1966283 bytes

Sexual orientation and gender identity

Bargaining for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Workers Rights

This factsheet contains information about the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual workers and sets out a bargaining agenda for branches. It includes information on the law and a negotiating checklist. In UNISON, lesbian, gay and bisexual members organise together with transgender members.

Word document (849920 bytes)

Negotiating Equality for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Workers
The purpose of this negotiating guide is to advise on how to use these new rights to make a real difference to the working lives of our lesbian, gay and bisexual members.

Acrobat PDF version