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Going Beyond Blog of Learning Opportunities

This blog is a place to share the learning opportunities through Going Beyond, our Communities of Practice education programme.  You can request to join a Community of Practice here: www.tssa.org.uk/goingbeyond

 Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 28 Results page:   1 2 3

  • Pride in Action

    Author: Gareth TheobaldPosted: 17 June 2021

    It's June, and we are halfway through pride month, and just like clockwork, we see swaths of social media content from many companies that have adorned their online presence with rainbows and slogans such as "Love Is Love" and “Be Yourself”. However, as the star of “It’s a sin” and “Year & Years’ frontman Olly Alexander pointed out in 2019 simply re-doing your logo in a rainbow and “donating a portion of proceeds” is not enough. We need to see companies in 2021 doing more pride campaigns that acknowledge the lived experience of queer people over the past year. 

    The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on LGBTQ+ people has shone a light on the importance of physical and mental health in our community. Overall, queer people are twice as likely to have a mental health condition compared to the heterosexual population, and COVID-19 has put LGBTQ+ youth especially at risk of suicide. 

     

    So this year, any attempt at “Rainbow Washing” simply won’t wash! Call it what you will; it all allows people, governments, and corporations that don’t do actual work to support LGBTQ+ communities at any other time during the year to slap a rainbow on top of something in the month of June and call it allyship. 2021 sees the likes of Converse, Dr. Martens, Adidas, Ugg, Disney, Levi’s and Calvin Klein all release collections for Pride.

     

    As the general support for LGBTQ+ rights grows, so does the corporate incentive for brands and companies to position themselves in sync with that growing sentiment. But in that commercialisation lies the disconnect. Brands promoting gay pride and the LGBTQ+ community may not always be consistent in actually supporting our community, but they still capitalise on the help that people want to give. It brings into question what Pride Month means, where it came from, and what we really commemorate when we celebrate it. 

     

    Pride month in the Covid-19 era should be highlighting the fact that the past year has been a time when many are being disproportionately affected. We need brands to step up and call out, transphobia in our media, the LGBTQ+ Mental health crisis, the plight of Queer refugees, and promote awareness of intersectionality, so we can better acknowledge and ground the differences among us. Companies need to swap tokenism for authenticity. 

     

    • In 2020, 350 transgender people were killed worldwide.

    • Being gay is illegal in 71 countries.

    In 11 countries, you can be punished by death.

    52 per cent of the LGBTQ+ community in England, Scotland and Wales say they experienced depression in the last year, according to a Stonewall/YouGov report.

    In the same study, 72 per cent of Bi women said they had experienced anxiety in the last year.

    One in five LGBTQ+ people had experienced homelessness.

    Taking on the above is “Pride in Action” what’s yours? 

    Join the TSSA LGBT+ & Ally Network 

     

    Read more:

     

    PRIDE NEEDS TO RETURN TO ITS RAINBOW ROOTS

     

    Pride rainbow merchandise is everywhere, but who gets the pot of gold?

     

     

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  • Discussion points for negotiating home working

    Author: Kerry AbelPosted: 19 May 2021

    This presentation deals with some of the areas to consider before negotiating home working policies on behalf of TSSA members.
     
    Network Rail reps have engaged in a full scale survey of members and non members to find out what employees feels works best for them.
     
    This presentation uses research from Office of National Statistics (ONS) Homeworking hours, rewards and opportunities in the UK: 2011 to 2020 (April 2021) and
    Typeform remote working survey (2020)

    A note on terminology – home working, hybrid working, flexible working and the Network Rail term “future ways of working” are used interchangeably in this presentation.
     
    Home working/Flexible working 

     

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  • Understanding VUCA

    Author: Luke ChesterPosted: 19 May 2021

    Understanding VUCA - As we emerge from a global pandemic, we are left with a whole set of ‘unknowns’ that will permanently affect the social, political, economic, and technologically landscape. The ‘new normal’ will be the way we operate now, but what is it? Does anyone know? Has anyone got a plan for it?

    If you are feeling a tad overwhelmed by it all, take stock in the fact that it’s nothing new... it’s something we’ve been dealing with for at least the last 50-60yrs. It’s just that it’s speeding up – this ‘new normal’ is called VUCA.

    The US military first coined the term at the end of the cold war to describe the lack of clarity they were facing - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. This is something we recognise only too well in the transport and travel sector.

    The series we are running on VUCA isn’t designed to eliminate VUCA because you can’t, and it’s here to stay. Still, the workshops and facilitated discussion groups will help increase your understanding and awareness of the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity that you are facing and help you think about strategies and approaches to help you cope and navigate them.

    Come and join us and become part of a proactive group, and together we will start to understand what we can do and create a vision for navigating our way through it.

    Luke Chester

    TSSA Organising Director

    Strategic Organising & Campaigns Team

     

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  • Our LGBT+ History

    Author: Gareth TheobaldPosted: 10 February 2021

    LGBT+ Campaigner and Activist Dan Glass who will be joining the upcoming TSSA "Our LGBT+ History" event, talks us through some of the defining moments in LGBT history. Click the Read More tab below to find out what he has to say.


    It’s an honour to be collaborating with TSSA to celebrate Queer history, freedom and power for LGBT+ History Month 2021. We are living in wild times and learning from our radical history to provide energy to keep struggling for justice is more important than ever. That is why I am so glad to be part of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and to share their powers with TSSA and its members as we commemorate the important milestones that we have today; 50 years of their foundings in 2020, that led to the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT+ demonstrations in Britain at the end of last year and fifty years of the start of Pride in 2022.  

     

    On Friday 4th December 2020 we celebrated the demonstration led by the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) against unjust laws and police misconduct that took place in Highbury Fields to commemorate the richness of our beautiful LGBT+ history, agitate for more queer anger and celebration, and to highlight the ongoing struggle for total freedom for all! We re-imagined the torchlight protest that took place 50 years ago which was organised in solidarity with Louis Eaks, chair of the Young Liberals, who was arrested for ‘importuning for an immoral purpose’ – cruising, to you and me. 

     

    This was a commemoration of sexual freedom, in celebration of those who were there, and the next generation of young activists responding to the intersectional challenges faced by queer people today. LGBT+ hate crimes and injustice are on the rise all over the world, and we won’t stand for it.

    Alongside connecting with GLF legends like Julian Hows whose iconic protest at Earls Court station captured the public imagination I’ve been lucky to have Stuart Feather, a founding member of the GLF and author of ‘Blowing the Lid- Gay Liberation, Sexual Revolution and Radical Queens’,  as a close friend and comrade over the last five years.

    ‘Where did it all begin?’ I ask, eager to learn how such a fire was started. 

     

    ‘The roots of GLF started in Paris at the University of Nanterre where the students demanded an end to gender segregation in dormitories. This eventually led to May 1968 in Paris and all the arrondissements which moved on to San Francisco and it became the birth of the ‘Women’s Liberation Movement’. 1969 was Stonewall which was the model of a fightback by homosexuals, unheard of, you couldn’t have even dreamt the idea up. Today there’s not a country in the world that isn’t aware of gay people and lesbians, whatever attitude but it’s there and there to fight for. So I was swept up in that, yes, and delighted to have done so because it opened my mind to what was going on in the world.’ 

     

    Two years later, in 1972, the first-ever Pride march was held by the GLF, a socialist-oriented ecosystem of criminals, deviants and revolutionaries. Leading the charge was the GLF working group of under 21s to confront the partiality of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. The supposed liberating legislation still criminalised a huge swathe of the queer population, anyone under 21s and anyone older than 21 who had sex with them like those still punished by the unequal age of consent for homosexuals.

     

    Iconic GLF slogans on badges and literature were touted and used as a hilarious comeback as a form of identification amongst the queer community, such as ‘Hello I’m gay, can I help you?’, ‘How dare you presume I’m heterosexual’ and ‘We are the people your parents warned you about.’ 

     

    Radical, antagonistic and grounded in real policy change this was a far cry from the Barclays sponsoring, M&S sandwich saturated militarised Pride scene that we have today. In order to extract capital from gays and lesbians the commercialisation of LGBTQI+ culture hadn’t yet distinguished between the palatable types of sexual difference, the ‘straight gays’ as Stuart defines them, and the queer militants and dissidents not wanting their culture to be bought off. Here, the privileging of hetronormative ideals, of marriage, monogamy and ‘keeping up with the neighbours’ brings the concept of ‘homonormativity’ to life, and the GLF didn’t want to be part of it. Even though the GLF demanded a world where we would be a ‘Queer Nation’ half a century on LGBTQIA+ inequality is still rife. Complete LGBTQIA+ liberation is part of a matrix, for housing rights, universal healthcare, economic freedom and so complete liberation will not be met without state resistance. However, the GLF teaches us to have hope.

     

    Hope in turn generates a mentality of fearlessness against personal and political limitations. Years of negative isolation, oppression and poor mental health caused by systemic inequality which, if left unattended, then results in what post-colonial political philosopher Franz Fanon calls 'colonisation of the soul' as marginalised peoples fundamental needs continue to be ignored because of their refusal, or inability to be conditioned.

     

    Queer culture - at its most raw - is the profound experience of being queer and alive in a world set against us. Our queer ancestors, radical or not, remind us to pierce through the fog of collective amnesia that has been structurally utilised to manipulate us into inaction and remind us how much we still have to fight for and never to be pacified.  The 50th anniversaries since Stonewall uprisings in 1969,  the Gay Liberation Front in 1970 and the first Pride protest in 1972 are great moments to celebrate progress. However, rather than a linear, forward movement, this ‘progress’ often tends to look like two ships sailing in opposite directions. 

     

    The corporate-funded militarised ‘Pride in London’ boat sails into the sunset with a tiny section of our community. On the other ship, ‘SOS - None of us are free until we all are’ (everyone else, including Pride’s founders) struggle to get a life-ring thrown overboard. 

     

    The critical moment that led to this was in 2004 when Pride went from a ‘Protest’ to a ‘Parade’, costing £100,000 extra each year to hold and infrastructurally becoming a ‘CIC.’ That is, a company with an interest in monetising a particular section of the community and abandoning the rest. Today, the capital still has no permanent queer museum, community centre or arts centre, AIDs memorial or comprehensive LGBTQIA+ housing programme. Without grassroots projects intervening in the status quo, like ‘The Outside Project’ who have reclaimed an abandoned fire station in North London to support the growing LGBTQIA+ homeless whilst holding exhibitions, workshops, cabarets and skillshares as well as intersectional and radical trade union solidarity organising like that is captured in the film ‘Pride’, our queer story is in danger of being forgotten. 

     

    Let us always remember the rallying cry of ‘Absolute Freedom for All’ and struggle onwards together! 

    In solidarty 

    Dan

     

    Please make sure you join Dan and the TSSA team on the 22nd February for Our LGBT+ History - Education Events 


     

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  • "It's been a journey "

    Author: Gareth TheobaldPosted: 16 November 2020

    As part of Trans Awarenes Week 2020 TSSA Member Cathy has shared her personal story about being a Trans Ally. My name is Cathy, and I’d like to share a personal story with you about how I’ve been able to be an Ally in my personal life and how I believe I’ve been able to translate that experience into being a better Ally at work. Click Read More to continue reading

    I am the proud parent of a trans child!

    In the early 90’s I gave birth to a boy and a girl, and more recently, I’ve ended up being a mum to 2 boys who are now 28 & 26. I’ve been on very different journeys with each of them but have ended up being very proud of them in very different ways. About eight years ago Heather, my younger child with whom I’d had always had a fractious relationship, informed me that they identified as male and that their preferred pronouns were now going to be he/him and that he was changing his name to Harry.

    I can tell you it’s not easy being the parent - or any close relative - of someone transitioning. I went through the whole range of emotions from “ yeah right, it’s a rebellion” to “Nah this is just a fad”, to “OK I’d better take this seriously”, right up to “Harry, would you please do me the honour of giving me away at my wedding ?” (yes, really).  In the early transitioning years I even went through thoughts and feelings of “what have I done wrong as a parent?” and then the whole grieving process kicked in at some point because I was having to come to terms with losing my daughter. That was the most challenging part for me, but I DID come to terms with it.

    How? easy - by telling myself that no matter what my thoughts and feelings were, my child, needed my help, love and support, and therefore that was exactly what they were going to get. I didn’t need actually to understand any of it. I’d never heard the term “gender dysphoria” – indeed hardly anyone had heard of it back then.

    The transitioning years went by, and I watched him develop, grow, and flourish as a man. I witnessed his highs and lows and his struggles and victories. I’ve seen him bullied, physically attacked and be vilified and discriminated against in several work and social settings. Still, I’ve watched him rise above it all. I’ve often wondered what it must feel like to be in a hostile and toxic work environment and I’ve had to give amateur HR advice on many more occasions than I would have liked. I’ve stood up for him, I’ve called people out on their behaviour (sometimes within our own family), I’ve educated myself on Trans matters, and I’ve generally championed his cause. In short, and quite simply, I needed to be brave and stand up for someone I care about. 

     Why? Not only is he my awesome son, but he is also a thinking, feeling, intelligent, self-aware human being with an amazing set of values which contributes to our society in some pretty unique and spectacular ways. 

    I cannot help but wonder how he must have felt being marginalised, targeted, ridiculed, and bullied in the way he has been by the organisations he has worked for. All I can say is thank goodness I am fortunate enough to work for a progressive employer. Let’s face it, in modern corporate life; you’d have had to be living under a rock if you didn’t realise that a diverse team is a stronger team as we all bring something to the table. I know I can make a difference, and I am 100% committed to doing just that both inside and outside work.

    It’s been a journey – one I’m still on - and I’m extremely proud to be a part of it.

    (and by the way, Harry is a little bit proud of me too)

    I hope from reading my story it encourages everyone to:

    ·       Take action to support under-represented groups

    ·       Learn appropriate terminology and language

    ·       Identify themselves as an ally wherever possible

    ·       Commit to learning more about the various networks

     

    Cathy 

    Why not find out how you can get involved in the TSSA LGBT+ Network here and remember to sign up to the LGBT+ Inclusive Workplaces CoP

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  • Challenge Bullying 2020

    Author: Nadine RaePosted: 13 November 2020

    In May 2020, TSSA launched our Addressing Bullying and Harassment Community of Practice as part of our new education initiative, Going Beyond. Since then we have had several events and discussions to explore what causes bullying and harassment and in what ways can we change our workplace culture to make them more inclusive.16-20 november is Anti-Bullying Week part of our community of practice learning we are holding our first ever TSSA Challenge Bullying Conference. This is an online event to delve even deeper into how we can address bullying and harassment. Click Read More to find out what we will discuss in Challenge Bullying 2020...

    Over the year some questions have led our spiral of learning on this theme, thinking about how we address bullying and harassment at work. Here are just some:

    ‘What would a bully-free workplace look like?’

    The opposite of a bullying culture is not the absence of bullying, but in fact a culture that when described, is inclusion, empathy, kindness, connection. Those elements need to be lived through our organising and the approach to this issue, as they need to be modelled to be embedded in the workplace.

    ‘Who has examples of best practice that we can learn from?’

    Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone can say they are a model of best practice, as no one has yet eliminated bullying and harassing behaviours from their organisations. It seems more realistic at this moment in time to think about the journey we are going on, acting and reflecting on what is working, what is not, and building towards an inclusive workplace. There is still a lot to understand in terms of why people bully, what enables these behaviours and therefore what practical things can an organisation and individuals do to stop it.

    If the opposite of a bullying culture is inclusion, empathy, kindness and connection, then

    ‘What are we doing to make our workplaces more inclusive?’

    I spoke to Loraine Martins, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Network Rail this week, who said clearly that we are all ambassadors for the good and not so good in our industry; that our work on inclusion runs parallel to any work we can do to address bullying and harassment in the workplace. Loraine spoke to me of the need to be consistent, develop trust so that people are confident to speak up about their experiences or intervene when they observe bullying and harassing behaviours. The challenge she said, is to reach that level of consistency.

    ‘Is our approach to addressing bullying and harassment critical in the outcome, or does it just matter that it ends?’

    This is a question that pops into my head when the catch phrase ‘Zero Tolerance’ is said, not because the sentiment is not right, but because fighting might with might, doesn’t quite feel right to me. Many people use that term and for good reasons. Whilst potentially a controversial opinion, Zero Tolerance is not a phrase I would naturally associate with inclusion, empathy, kindness and connection, even though bullying behaviours should not be tolerated. Language plays a strong part in creating an inclusive environment and culture. Shouldn’t we reflect on the language and behaviours we want everyone to adopt, and ensure our way of addressing bullying includes that language and behaviour and reinforces that new culture?

    Jon Everest of Victoria University of Wellington in Aotearoa New Zealand is an expert in Restorative Practice. He shared with me his thoughts on how the language of the justice system does not translate well into the workplace. Concepts of perpetrators or offenders and victims, can only lend itself to people seeking to defend themselves, not reflect on their behaviours and acknowledge their part in the process, and change. Similarly, the mechanisms of investigation, disciplinaries and grievances identify only two people affected, the bully and the victim, and simply seeks to identify what rule they have broken and how they can be punished. In reality, Jon suggests their colleagues are often aware of what is going on and when the investigation ends, there is still residual harm done to the entire workplace that is usually not addressed at all. Neither is there always exploration of what an organisation can do to prevent it from happening again. While there is a place for formal processes, if we are to truly address bullying and harassment, we need to go beyond our current approach and understanding of injustice and seek to restore the workplace relationships between all people affected, following any harm that has occurred.

    We will hear more form Loraine Martins and Jon Everest at our Challenge Bullying event and explore the concepts of Restorative Practice, Diversity and Inclusion in more detail in our Community of Practice throughout 2021 and beyond.

    Challenge Bullying as an event has resonated with many members. We have had more applications for this than any education event in the past ten years. For some of those who will attend, it is because they are facing this issue in the workplace right now. For others, they want to know how to support colleagues or make a difference in their workplace. Either way, it is clear the work of our TSSA Addressing Bullying and Harassment Community of Practice in 2021 will be extremely important to changing member’s lives for the better. Challenge Bullying is not simply what we need to do, but a challenge we set ourselves to change workplace culture, not simply get better at what we are currently doing as it is not going to create the difference our members want.

    TSSA will continue to lead on addressing bullying and harassment through building our community of practice and applying our learning to our work changing lives. If you want to be part of our CoP you can request to join here: www.tssa.org.uk/goingbeyond

    Nadine Rae

    TSSA Organising Director

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  • How do we embed learning and skills in the workplace post Covid?

    Author: Kerry AbelPosted: 04 November 2020

    This presentation by Kerry Abel, How to embed learning and skills in workplaces post-Covid? takes you through the issues caused by the industry's historic skills shortage and the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    It considers four areas for trade union involvement; 

    - Workforce (development) planning
    - Performance appraisals
    - Fairness and equality
    - Apprenticeships as a tool to structure training

    The presentation asks key questions about whether employer sides are upholding their side of the bargain, uses detailed research to consider the reasons for the skills shortages and uses data from TSSA member surveys to demonsrate where training is and isn't taking place. 

    Finally it looks at where TSSA reps can get involved and provides links to next steps.

    If you would like to use this presentation in your workplace, get in touch with Kerry for tips and any updates on abelk@tssa.org.uk

    For further information join the Skills Reps Community of Practice (members and non-members welcome) and think about becoming a TSSA Skills Rep (TSSA members only). There is a monthly Skills Reps Network meeting that you will be invited to if you sign up.

    This blog is also closely related to the Future of Rail Community of Practice.

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  • Going Beyond for Racial Equality

    Author: Nadine RaePosted: 30 October 2020

    Going Beyond for Racial Equality - TSSA's New Community of Practice

    October was Black History Month and I am pleased that TSSA has been active and focussed on bringing people together around issues of race in the workplace. In response to our members who are BAME and who wish to support BAME colleagues, we have established our Going Beyond for Racial Equality Community of Practice, to explore what we can do as a union to improve equality, diversity and inclusion for BAME people in our workplaces. Click 'Read More'...

    Over the past two years we have worked to build an active BAME network and really explore the lived experiences of our members who are from black, asian and minority ethnicity communities. Unfortunately for some members, those experiences have included casual and blatant racism, subtle micro-aggressions and experiences that make workplaces feel unsafe, unsupportive and in some cases hostile. The impact on people facing this kind of environment each day, is extremely damaging to mental health, self-esteem and their ability to perform and contribute at work. In some cases, safety can be compromised, where bias and prejudice clouds the decision making and reactions of people in safety critical roles and roles that manage other people. During the covid pandemic, safety for BAME people has been a significant concern. Our BAME members who are key workers have raised concerns about their exposure to Covid-19 through their job roles and we have worked tirelessly with employers and government to ensure they and others are safe. In times when you know you are at a higher risk than other people, you need to also feel confident your concerns are being heard and will be addressed, and that you are safe at work. More than ever TSSA is needed by BAME workers in transport and travel.

    We also have other members who have been moved by local and global events this year and want to know what they can do to end racism and support BAME colleagues. Our work building the Inclusive Rail campaign for LGBT+ people has made it clear that allyship is essential for changing negative culture and making our workplaces inclusive. We encourage anyone who wants to be an ally for BAME people to get involved in our community of practice. Our BAME members want to have the same opportunities to contribute and progress in their careers that other people experience and we all can help that become a reality.

    Going Beyond for Racial Equality is a community of practice that will help all TSSA members and supporters talk about race, about prejudice, about privilege, about equality and find practical ways we can bring about change and make our workplaces inclusive of BAME people. You can request to be part of the community of practice here: www.tssa.org.uk/goingbeyond.

    Nadine Rae

    TSSA Organising Director

     

    If you have any about your safety at work due to covid-19 visit www.tssa.org.uk/safeatwork or contact our helpdesk helpdesk@tssa.org.uk

     

     

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  • Why Inclusive Rail is an important campaign for all TSSA members

    Author: Nadine RaePosted: 04 August 2020

    As I said in my recent newsletter, it has now been two years since we launched our campaign at Westminster, releasing our Role Model Posters and our LGBT+ Inclusive Workplaces Bargaining Standard. Inclusive Rail has fast become one of the most important campaigns TSSA has run in the 21st century. We have achieved many things over these past two years, and all TSSA members can and should be proud to promote this campaign for inclusion in their workplace. Our aim is to make the railway inclusive for LGBT+ people by 2025. An ambitious aim, but one that will impact all members of TSSA should we achieve it. In this blog post, I will outline three main reasons why all members of TSSA should support, promote and get involved in Inclusive Rail. At the very least this is because the support and interest we get from members regarding this campaign has outweighed any other campaign of recent times. Click ‘Read More’ to find out more… 

     

    1) We can learn from our Inclusive Rail success  

    Our Time to Grow Strategy action point 12 is ‘Learn from Ourselves and Others’ and this is exactly the case with our successes from Inclusive Rail. All the things we have done for Inclusive Rail can be done for other campaigns and help other groups of workers. Everything can be applied in other work from the campaign activities to the materials we have developed and the monthly communication we have established with all members.  

     

    We have engaged over 5000 people in our campaign activities to date through a variety of ways. People have joined TSSA, completed #NoBystanders cards, become active in our LGBT+ Network, participated in our 5-year placard challenge to share what you think will make the railway inclusive by 2025, attended network and forum events and visited our workplace stalls and education sessions. That means almost all those 5000 contacts have actually been 5000 conversations, where we have been able to build visibility of TSSA, share our values, and the reasons why people should join and get involved in TSSA. As a result, we have built our LGBT+ Network from 5 people to 50+ members. The response we have had on the materials such as our powerful Role Model posters has led to opportunities for our members to share our campaign and aspirations with others, at conferences such as Network Rail’s Archway conference, Stonewall’s prestigious Annual Workplace Conference and globally, with international trade union federations. 

     

    More directly, reps are seeing the value of applying this learning to their own projects. Gurprit Bhakar, TSSA BAME Network member attended our Equality in the Workplace seminar in 2019 and heard about our invitation for members to become LGBT+ allies: ‘We can encourage people to be allies for BAME workers too’.  

     

    2) Respected colleagues and workplace leaders are joining TSSA  

     Shane Andrews, Chair of Archway, has been a TSSA member for many years and has volunteered to be a new Role Model on our poster series. He has volunteered to be a part of our poster campaign because it enables him to be a visible face of LGBT+ leadership and to empower people at work. Other members have joined because they are taking leadership roles in the workplace and see the work we have done with Inclusive Rail as supporting their vision. Our union is leading on equality, and those who are active on equality issues in their workplace see the value in being a part of TSSA. Our ’10 Reasons to Join and Support Equality’ video highlights some of the reasons why people should join and get involved.

     

    3) We are setting the standard in the industry  

    We launched our very first Equality Bargaining Standard as part of the Inclusive Rail campaign in 2018. Over the past two years, we have gained commitments from companies to work towards our bronze, silver and gold standards for LGBT+ Inclusive Workplaces. Now two years on, we are beginning our first audits against our very own standard. In conjunction with Stonewall, we are helping companies on their journey of inclusion and leading the industry through our Inclusive Rail Industry Forum and our new LGBT+ Inclusive Workplaces Community of Practice. Everything we are doing in our Community of Practice will guide companies to achieve our gold standard, whilst also enabling our members to show leadership in their workplaces on LGBT+ issues. This model of working, including the use of Bargaining Standards, is being replicated in other areas of equality (see our Neurodiversity at Work Equality Bargaining Standard) and has the potential to support our industrial bargaining also. Inclusive Rail has proven that our members engaging with companies over standards is a successful strategy for our whole union. 

     

    And finally, there is a change within TSSA to become a more welcoming, inclusive organisation that doesn’t just talk about our values - we live them. This is demonstrated throughout the Inclusive Rail campaign and gives TSSA a level of credibility within the rail industry and throughout the UK and Ireland that it has never had before. We are proving month to month that we are not shying away from addressing hard issues and campaigning to change people’s lives. That is exactly what Inclusive Rail is trying to do and it is working. Through campaigns like Inclusive Rail, we will build a bigger, stronger and more inclusive, TSSA. 

    EQ Agenda cover

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  • What is a TSSA Divisional Council?

    Author: Steven RobertsPosted: 31 July 2020

    Divisional Councils have the traditional role of branch governance, ensuring that the member branches operate in accordance with TSSA rules and supporting any branches that may find themselves in difficulty. Divisional Council also act as a forum where branches can get together with other branches in their Divisional Council area to exchange information, experience and best practice and to create networks of communications. For this reason, my own Divisional Council moves their meeting to different venues in their area and allows members of the local branch to attend as observers. This helps in building TSSA activity in areas where it might be less visible and active. Keep reading to find out more about Divisional Councils...

    Divisional Councils are organised on an area basis and group together all the branches within that area. Each branch elects a number of delegates to their Divisional Council based on the number of members in their branch. The delegates are elected on an annual basis. Each Divisional Council area has a member of the TSSA Executive Committee, elected by the members of each branch in that Divisional Council area.

    As an example of how a Divisional Council can make a difference, the North West Divisional Council supported the efforts of a small number of Liverpool members in re-establishing a Merseyside branch, and, before the Covid19 lockdown, it was assisting the Crewe & Cheshire General branch in surveying its members in an attempt to increase member participation.

    NW Division Council 2

    Although we do have a certain amount of ‘business’ to conduct, at least half of our meetings are given over to a guest speaker. Recently Graham Stringer MP talked to us regarding ‘Public Transport in the North West’; Laura Smith MP talked about ‘My First Six Months in Parliament’ and Manuel Cortes addressed the question of ‘Where Now’ following Labour’s 2019 election defeat.

    Divisional Councils are also perhaps best placed to form links with various Regional Organisations such as the Regional Trades Union Councils, and the growing Regional levels of Government.


    Steven Roberts
    Secretary Crewe & Cheshire General Branch &
    Communication Officer North West Divisional Council

     

    Follow TSSA North West Divisional Council on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/662956120453170/

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