Category: LGBT+ Inclusive Workplaces

Allan OHare

STUC LGBT+ Conference 2024 Report

TSSA members Allan O'hare And Barry Weldon holding a Rainbow TSSA Flag the STUC LGBT+ Conference.

Reflecting on the STUC LGBT+ Conference 2024

A Weekend of Solidarity and Advocacy in Clydebank, Glasgow

On a vibrant weekend in May, the 13th Annual STUC LGBT+ Conference took place in Clydebank, Glasgow. TSSA members Allan O'Hare and Barry Weldon, engaged in an intense and enriching schedule spanning the weekend. This conference was a significant platform for discussions on LGBT+ workers’ rights, equalities, and a myriad of related issues.

The conference opened on Saturday morning with passionate debates on safeguarding LGBT+ rights. Unite led with a compelling motion titled "Affirming Support for Women's Rights." ASLEF brought forward a significant motion supporting the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, a piece of legislation currently held up by the UK Government’s Section 35 order.

Adding to the robust discussions, colleagues from RMT introduced the motion "Fighting the Far-Right to Defend LGBT+ Rights." This motion called for concerted efforts to challenge phobias through education campaigns, fight against fascism, and protect LGBT+ workers from any form of attack. The urgency to speak out against threats to LGBT+ rights was a resounding theme.

In the afternoon, workshops provided practical insights, including a session from Thompsons Solicitors on the Equality Act 2010, which featured illustrative case studies to deepen understanding of legal protections.

The final session of the day, "Promoting LGBT+ Equality," was marked by two notable motions from the Fire Brigade Union (FBU). The first, "The B in LGBT+ is Not Silent," addressed the often overlooked issue of Bi erasure and stereotypes. This motion called for research into Bi erasure and the promotion of education and awareness about Bi-related phobia. The second motion, "Inclusive Language," highlighted the harm caused by misgendering and dead-naming, urging unions to use non-gendered terms and to respect individuals’ names and pronouns.

Sunday began on an uplifting note with an address from Roz Foyer, the STUC General Secretary. The day's discussions focused on LGBT+ health and wellbeing, culminating in a dynamic panel session. Participants also prepared for emergency motions addressing urgent global issues.

Although TSSA did not present any motions this year, the conference was an invaluable opportunity for learning and networking. Looking ahead, we encourage LGBT+ members who wish to participate in future conferences to get in touch with their local Scottish branch.

Moving Forward...

The 13th Annual STUC LGBT+ Conference was a powerful reminder of the strength found in unity and collective action. The diverse issues tackled, from legislative support to inclusive language, underscore the comprehensive nature of the fight for LGBT+ rights. As we move forward, the unwavering commitment of unions and activists remains crucial in advancing equality and protecting the rights of LGBT+ individuals across all sectors.

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