The branch equalities officer is supported by a committee made up of reps from each stewards committee, branch officers and reps from the self organised groups. The post is part of the service conditions team so it is central to branch negotiations. The branch equalities officer is Michael Richardson – read about him here
Self Organised Groups
To make sure all our members have a voice in the union, UNISON members have set up ‘self-organised groups’ to provide a voice for people who are traditionally under represented.
UNISON has groups at national, regional and branch level for women, LGBT+ members, black members and disabled members. These groups are designed to be self-organising but also integral to the union’s structures. The branch encourages the formation of all of these groups.
If you are interested in any of the groups, if you would like mailings or if you want to record any needs to facilitate your involvment in the union, please contact the equalities officer.
The committee’s role is to work in consultation with self organised groups to promote improvements in conditions for disadvantaged groups and to ensure equality is an issue considered in any negotiations. The equalities officer is a member of the service conditions team.
The equalities committee also has a role to act as a ‘clearing house’ for information on equalities issues and ensure that this is channelled into Branch activities and committees.
Michael Richardson joined the council in 2018 and works full time within Business Support. He says: “I’m very proud to have helped set up STRIDE, the Council’s network for LGBT+ staff and supportive allies. At our branch AGM in 2019 I became your equalities officer as I am committed to working towards true equality, both in the workplace and wider society.
“Through my role with UNISON, I regularly attend several meetings and forums within the council to raise and discuss equalities-related issues. Over the last year or so, I’ve taken part in several UNISON training courses and met activists from across the country who are committed to ensuring our workplaces become safer and more equal.”