The STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Committee carries out a range of work to tackle homophobia and to promote equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in Scotland, both in the workplace and in society.
The LGBT+ Workers' Committee is elected at the Annual STUC LGBT+ Worker's Conference. The motion-based conference determines the priorities of the Committee for the year ahead. There are currently two reserved seat on the STUC General Council, and the STUC LGBT+ conference can nominate these representatives. These representatives, along with the Committee’s wider engagement with the General Council allows for LGBT+ equality to be mainstreamed into the wider work of the STUC. The LGBT+ Workers' Committee comprises of 12 members and is accountable to the annual STUC LGBT+ Workers' Conference. The work plan of the Committee is determined following discussions by the Committee on the motions agreed at Conference and takes account of the wider policies of the STUC as a whole.
The current members of the Committee are:
Ross Baxter-McGhee, Society of Radiographers
Willie Docherty, UNISON
Kris Hendry, Public and Commercial Services Union
Anthea Koon, Unite the Union
Graham Newport, USDAW
Stewart Wakelam-Munro, UNITE the Union/General council
Carole Anderson, Unite the Union
Pamela Currie, EIS
Jenny Douglas, Unite the Union/General Council
Marion Hersh, UCU
Sandra Owsnet, Prospect
Sally Wilson, CWU
Gillian Donaldson-Selby, Prospect
There were no nominations for the Trades Union Council Seat on the LGBT+ Workers’ Committee.
The priorities for the LGBT+ Workers’ Committee for the year ahead are to:
• support LGBT+ people in Scotland’s workplaces and in public life;
• tackle Homophobia in society and promote good quality public services for LGBT+ people; and
• encourage better treatment of LGBT+ people internationally and deliver a Commonwealth Games that is inclusive of the LGBT+ community and is free of homophobia.
The Committee, with the support of the General Council ran a high profile rainbow flag campaign during the Commonwealth Games. At STUC LGBT conference in May 2014, it was announced that the STUC would fly the rainbow flag, the international symbol of LGBT equality, on its building throughout the Commonwealth Games and that it would encourage trade unions and others to do the same. By flying the rainbow flag, the STUC aimed to recognise the Human Rights of LGBT people and celebrate the distance that Scotland has come in promoting equality for this group. The campaign was also a rejection of the anti-homosexuality laws that still exist in 80% of Commonwealth countries and an effort to show solidarity with the fight for Human Rights that is still being fought by LGBT people across the Commonwealth.
A key part of the campaign was to raise awareness of the fact that 42 out of 53 Commonwealth nations criminalise homosexuality.
The take up of the campaign from trade unions was very positive, with a range of trade unions taking part including: EIS, Equity, GMB, FBU, MU, NUJ, UCU, Unite and RMT. Other unions also supported the campaign by promoting the campaign materials and highlighting it within their union magazine or journal.
The Scottish Government agreed to support the campaign and flew the rainbow flag on St Andrew’s House along with the Saltire and the Commonwealth Flag. This marked the first occasion that the Scottish Government has officially flown the rainbow flag from its building.
A number of local authorities also took part in the campaign including Dumfries and Galloway Council, East Ayrshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and West Lothian Council.
There are strict protocols around the flying of flags during the time of the Commonwealth Games which Glasgow City Council, as host city, were required to work within. They did, however, fly the Rainbow Flag from the City Chambers on 11 July 2014 as a symbol of solidarity with the LGBT community in Glasgow and across the Commonwealth.
The 2017 STUC LGBT+ Conference will take place in the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Clydebank, Glasgow on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May 2017. Delegates will be elected through affiliated trades unions and Trade Union Councils.
The 2016 STUC LGBT+ Conference took place in the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel, Clydebank, Glasgow on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May 2016.
The STUC LGBT Committee have prepared a series of guides to support the work of trade unions and trade union activists with regard to LGBT equality.
One Workplace Equal Rights / Stonewall Scotland Guide A short introduction guide for trade unionists on LGBT equality
A guide which for trade unions on how to strengthen their approach to promoting participation, widening knowledge amongst reps and members and sharing best practice
Supporting Trans Workers: A Guide for Trade Unionists A detailed guide on trans equality, the legislation that applies and workplace issues that are often faced by trans members
The STUC LGBT Workers’ Committee and the STUC Youth Committee held a joint fringe event at STUC Annual Congress 2015. The event looked at the issue of homophobic bullying in schools and its effect on future career and education choices. The fringe event heard testimonials from young people who had experienced homophobia and transphobia and heard first-hand how the system had let them down.