30 September 2012

UCU Left Report – LGBT Members Standing Committee, 28th September 2012

This was a shorter than normal meeting because all four of the union’s equality members standing committees were to meet together in the afternoon.

The main agenda items were to receive reports of on-going committee work and to finalise plans for the LGBT members conference on Saturday 10th November.

There was short review of how the LGBT motions from Congress and the HE and FE sector conferences were progressing, including the promotion of information gathering and monitoring. It was noted again that UCU’s membership software does not allow existing members to declare their sexual orientation or gender identity, although there are relevant questions for new joiners.

There are plans to produce an LGBT History wallchart to match those produced for other protected characteristics.

The forthcoming LGBT members conference was discussed in some detail, including the agenda for the day and speakers for the panel. The theme, agreed at the previous committee meeting, is to be around austerity and LGBT resistance. A number of names and organisations were proposed, including Queers Against the Cuts, research academics, a provider of care for older LGBT people, and Laura Miles from the LGBT Members Standing Committee. It would also be useful, it was felt, to have someone who could report the concerns and debates around the recent crisis in London Pride. UCU has a representative on the TUC LGBT committee.

There were concerns expressed about how to better promote the members conference given the fairly low turnout in recent years.  It was generally agreed that we needed to advertise speakers who would look at the context of the impact of cuts on LGBT people and how these could be resisted. UCU Members can self-nominate for the conference, but will need their branch endorsement in order to stand for the committee itself at the elections due to take place in November.

Part of the day would also include a report currently being put together by a member of the committee’s work during the year, and this will be linked to the on-going Workplan which was initiated by the committee last year.
The meeting finished at 1pm in order for members to attend the afternoon’s joint session.

Registration for the equality conferences is here.

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