Equality is at the heart of UNISON. We challenge discrimination and win equality in the workplace and beyond. Everyone shares responsibility for equality in UNISON.

But our equality work includes groups for members who experience particular types of prejudice and discrimination.


These groups meet locally and nationally to discuss, campaign and organise around the specific issues that affect them. They help UNISON understand equality and meet our equality aims.


Our four self-organised groups are for black members; disabled members; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members; and women members. We also have equality groups for young members and retired members.

This page will include updates and reports from any of our branch self organised groups as and when they become available.

Dear Colleagues


We have published a new report: ‘Nowhere To Turn’ https://www.womensaid.org.uk/research-and-publications/nowomanturnedaway/  I have included a synopsis below.


Nowhere to Turn

Survivors of domestic abuse are being repeatedly turned away from refuges because they do not meet the criteria to fund their space. Women’s Aid has been working with these women and their children to make sure no woman is turned away.

This report shows that there is a systemic failure by statutory agencies when it comes to responding to the needs of the most vulnerable survivors of domestic abuse. While chronic underfunding is increasing pressure on already overstretched refuge providers, leading to a crisis in refuge provision for the women who most desperately need support.

LGBT Newsletter Spring 2017
LGBT Newsletter Spring 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [205.7 KB]
11/02/2017 - National Women's Conference report 2017
NWC report February 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [467.6 KB]




The STUC Women’s Committee is working on a number of different campaigns, and taking forward the decisions of the 2016 STUC Women’s Conference.


Here are some reports and events that may be of interest. If you require any more information, just get in touch. Also please share this newsletter with other women in your workplace and trade union branch. Thank you.


Follow the STUC Women’s Committee on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/STUCWomen/  and Twitter:   @STUCwomen 



Women and the Economy – STUC Women’s Weekend School 12th – 14th May at the Golden Jubilee Conference Centre, Clydebank G81 4SA


The staff from the Women in Scotland’s Economy (WiSE) Research Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University, along with Professor Diane Elson, University of Essex and UK Women’s Budget Group, are working with the STUC Women’s Committee to deliver a weekend residential course on ‘Women and Understanding Economics – Learning Together’. Places are  funded through sponsorship from your trade union, and all STUC affiliates have been circulated with the details. The previous Weekend Schools have been very enjoyable and educational, and received great feedback. Do please consider putting yourself forward to participate. More details from hcarson@stuc.org.uk or from your trade union office. Closing date for registering an interest – 10th February.


STUC Black Workers Network  – Leadership Skills Training


The STUC Black Workers Committee has developed a free two-day cross-union ‘Leadership Skills for BME Workers’ through the Scottish Union Learning ‘Leadership Development Fund’ and supported by Prospect, it is open to members of all unions.


Course:     Leadership Skills for BME Workers

Venue:      STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6NG

Dates:       25th February & 11th March 2017

Times:       9:30am (registration) – 4:30pm

Cost:         FREE. Lunch will be provided.


Travel and subsistence costs cannot be supported through this project and if learners need support with this, they should contact their own union. The programme will help learners to improve or develop their leadership skills and is targeted specifically at Black workers across Scotland who hold positions of responsibility in their union, or who would like to become more involved in their union in the future.

More information from your union or from Tommy Breslin tbreslin@stuc.org.uk


Scottish Parliament Women’s Dinner Wednesday 8th March 6.15pm


Elaine Smith MSP hosts Women’s Dinners a couple of times each year. We help with the organisation of these, and are keen to take every opportunity to meet MSPs on a cross Party basis in the Parliament. The Women’s Dinners are quite informal, with women from many different backgrounds, communities, and from across Scotland, in attendance. Everyone pays for their own meal ( approx. £25 for three courses, a drink and coffee) and a speaker is usually also invited. The next Women’s Dinner is on Wednesday 8th March, celebrating International Women’s Day, and if you would like more information or to register, please let me know. ahenderson@stuc.org.uk


STUC Women’s Conference Glenrothes 30th – 31st October


This is the 90th anniversary of the STUC Women’s Conference. We will be planning various activities this year, but do please put these dates in your diary. Visitors are welcome, alongside the delegations elected by each affiliated trade union or Trades Union Council. Look out for the correspondence, but in the meantime, any contributions to reflect on 90 years of women’s trade union activity, send them in!


1967 Abortion Act and the 50th anniversary


Another important anniversary this year. We will be working with Abortion Rights Scotland to hold joint events with guest speakers, and to build the pro-choice campaign in Scotland. This is especially important, now that abortion law is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.  Abortion Rights Scotland can be contacted at arcscoltandonline@gmail.com


A short publication is being prepared at UK level, charting some of the history of the law and of the struggles for women’s reproductive rights, still continuing, including of course in Ireland North and South. We want to make sure Scotland and the Scottish labour movement is well represented in this publication.  If you would like to contribute your own campaigning or personal story email judithAbortionRights@gmail.com



Ann Henderson, STUC Assistant Secretary ahenderson@stuc.org.uk   0141 337 8100



Women working nights

New analysis by the TUC has found that the number of people who work night shifts increased by almost 10 per cent between 2011 and 2016, with women accounting for most of the increase.

Although historically most night workers tended to be men working in manufacturing plants, by 2016 one in seven male employees (14 per cent) were night-workers, compared to one in 11 (9 per cent) female employees.

There is also a clear gender split in the kind of jobs male and female night-workers do. The two most common professions for female night-workers are care-working and nursing, with numbers increasing by 15 per cent and 4 per cent respectively over the past five years.

Male night workers are most likely to work in protective service occupations (military, security, policing) and road transport. However, the number of men doing night shifts in these professions fell by 26 per cent and 12 per cent respectively over the past five years.

The negative health impacts of night work are well-documented, such as heightened risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression, although less attention has been given to the impacts on home life and relationships.

The TUC recommends that:

  • Employers and unions should ensure that night-working is only introduced where necessary

  • Where night working is introduced into a workplace, no existing workers should be forced to work nights

  • Shift patterns should be negotiated between unions and employers

  • Workers should have some element of control over their rotas, so that they can ensure that the shifts they work are best suited to their individual circumstances

  • Workers should always have sufficient notice of their shift patterns so they can make arrangements well in advance

  • The remuneration paid to those working nights should properly reflect the likely additional costs of childcare and inconvenience that night shifts can entail.

    Jo Seery of Thompsons said: “The fact that night work is most common amongst women under the age of 30 suggests that more women may be working nights to balance their caring responsibilities. Responsible employers should be assessing the risks to these women’s health and safety and properly paying them for the work they do”.

    To read the analysis in full, go to: https://www.tuc.org.uk/economic-issues/industrial-issues/workplace-issues/number-people-working-night-shifts-more-250000



SWC International Women’s Day 2017

Registration of Interest to Attend


The SWC International Women’s Day event will be held on Saturday 4th March 2017 in the Scottish Parliament with permission of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body.


The event will begin around 12.30pm to allow for registration and lunch.


We will take our seats within the Debating Chamber at 2.00 pm where we will be joined by a number of invited speakers.


An opportunity for networking will be available from 4.00pm – 6.00pm


If you wish to register your interest in attending this free event please do so either by emailing info@scottishwomensconvention.org or telephoning 0141 339 4797.  When registering please provide your name, address and telephone number / email address.  Please also provide these details for any other women you may be registering.


As this is a hugely popular event places are not guaranteed until you receive written confirmation from the SWC.


We look forward to hearing from you.

SWC Report.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [862.1 KB]



Please see link below which takes to the latest news from the Scottish Womens Convention



Please find link below for the latest LGBT e-bulletin





The SWC is holding a ‘Women’s Voices’ Hustings event ahead of the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections. We want to give women the opportunity to ask representatives from each of the political parties in Scotland questions on issues which matter to them, their families and communities as a whole.


The event will be held on Saturday 9th April at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel, Byres Road, Glasgow. Registration will open at 10am and proceedings will conclude at approximately 1.30pm with lunch, as well as the opportunity to network with speakers and with other women from throughout Scotland.


Speakers are as follows:


Labour: Johann Lamont

Conservatives: Annabel Goldie

Lib Dems: Carole Ford

RISE: Cat Boyd

Scottish Greens: Zara Kitson

Women’s Equality Party: Annie Beetham


If you want to come along, please let us know by emailing info@scottishwomensconvention.org or by phoning the office on 0141 339 4797.


Please also feel free to pass this information on to friends, family, colleagues and any other women you think might be interested. We are also mindful that the extension of the franchise means that many young women will be given the opportunity to vote for the first time. If you know of any who might want to come along please let them know about the event.

Equally Safe Bulletin - March 2016.pdf
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Scottish Women's Convention - A Manifest[...]
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Please see link below for the March 2016 edition of the LGBT bulletin.


UNISON LGBT e-bulletin for March 2016

Microsoft Power Point presentation [1.6 MB]

Report from National Women's Conference 2016

National Womens Conference.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [161.5 KB]