LGBT+ workers forum and an update on equalities

Council workers recently established an LGBT+ forum to help empower staff that identify as LGBT+ and create a space for mutual support and guidance. The forum is the second employee forum to help ensure the rights of workers with protected characteristics, joining the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) forum for workers in health and social care, which has been running for over a decade.

Further employee networks are in the pipeline and the Council’s diversity and inclusion framework, which looks to be released soon, is looking at understanding the diversity of the workforce and ensuring this reflects the diversity of the city. Continue reading “LGBT+ workers forum and an update on equalities”

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – 17 May

Tomorrow is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), a time to highlight the injustices and bigotry faced by LGBT people across the world and to celebrate the diversity in our society.

Labour MP Peter Kyle will table a special debate in Parliament tomorrow to honour the day.

Unite are committed to ensuring justice and fair treatment for everyone at work and in the community. Read about equalities on the Unite the Union website. Continue reading “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia – 17 May”

Stand Up to Racism Conference Scotland Conference 2019

On Saturday 2 February 2018 12 to 5pm at Unison Glasgow City Branch, 84 Bell Street, G1 1LQ.

Tickets are

  • £10
  • £5 for unwaged or students
  • free for refugees.

Book tickets for the SUTR Scotland Conference

Join the discussion and organise

Racism is on the rise—and the far right is seeking to take advantage. In Britain, UKIP, the ‘Football Lads’ and Tommy Robinson are trying to capitalise on the ‘hostile environment’ created by politicians and much of the media. How can we organise to challenge racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and the growth of the far right on the streets and in our communities?

February is the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Macpherson Report in 1999. This followed the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in London. The report provoked a debate about institutional racism in the police but also in wider society. Yet two decades on, institutional racism and Islamophobia remain deeply entrenched.

How can we organise to challenge racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and the growth of the far right on the streets and in our communities?


  • Confronting the rise in racism
  • Islamophobia and antisemitism
  • Mobilising against the far right
  • Justice for Sheku Bayou
  • Defend freedom of movement
  • Solidarity with the Stansfield 15
  • Migration is not a crime
  • Refugees are welcome here

Speakers include

  • Talat Ahmed – Stand Up To Racism Scotland
  • Aamer Anwar – human rights lawyer
  • Sandra White – SNP MSP
  • Stephen Smellie – Unison Scotland vice convenor
  • Anas Sarwar – Labour MSP
  • Melanie Strickland – one of the Stansted 15
  • Gordon Martin – RMT union Scotland organiser
  • Shafiq Mohammed – Asylum Seeker Housing Project

Other events

National march against racism in Glasgow on Saturday 16 March 2019.

Recording bullying, harassment and discrimination at work

We want to monitor all allegations of workplace bullying in the City of Edinburgh Council. All reps should use Unite’s form for recording instances of harassment, discrimination and bullying (HDB).

Download the HDB1 form

If any member believes they are experiencing discrimination, bullying or harassment in the work place, reps should have them fill in the HDB1 form and send it to Amanda Cunningham, Equalities Officer. This will help

  • the member’s case, as they will have a timeline of instances if they raise a grievance
  • us to identify areas where bullying is common.

It is helpful to refer to the Council’s policy on the avoidance of bullying and harassment at work in bullying cases. Find Council policies at

Download the HBD1 form, and other useful resources for reps, in the The REPository.

For more information of harassment, discrimination and bullying cases contact the branch equalities officer Amanda Cunningham.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 – the power of words

Saturday 27 January 2018 is Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD), when you are invited to commemorate the lives lost during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides across the world.

HMD is a time to reflect on how such atrocities occurred — a genocide is never a chance happening, but a planned event by those with power — and how we can ensure such tragedies never happen again. HMD is a reminder that bigotry and discrimination can lead nowhere but down a path to destruction.

Visit the Holocaust Memorial Day website.

Power of words

This year’s theme for HMD is the power of words. You are invited to think about words used by

  • oppressors to justify their crimes
  • victims to raise the alarm on their persecution
  • supposedly neutral historians, after the event, and reporters of the day.

Consider how words are used to demonise, to immortalise, to liberate, to spread fear and as a call to arms against oppression.

In the spirit of HMD’s theme, we invite you to recommend written works on the Holocaust and genocide in the comments section below.

From words to actions

From the words of the media to those spoken in public place, from the underground newspapers in concentration camps to hardback histories, the words we use to talk about each other and to document what is happening in our societies are of vital importance.

Gregory Stanton, professor of Genocide Studies and Prevention, identifies ‘classification’ and ‘dehumanisation’ as two of the preceding steps to ‘extermination’ in a genocide. Both of these steps call for a vocabulary of hate to be used against the persecuted groups.

How we speak about each other prefigures how we treat each other, so this HMD, consider the power of words and how we might use them to ensure that genocide, persecution and discrimination are kept in the past.

If you would like to know more about how Unite strives to promote equality and tackle discrimination in the workplace and society — or if you are having issues in your workplace — contact our Equalities Officer.

Help STUC investigate menopause at work

The Menopause in Work survey, which was launched at the STUC women’s conference in Glenrothes on 30 October, is open until 1 December 2017.

The STUC women’s committee is interested in investigating how Scottish employers are responding to menopause in work and what the experiences of women in the workplace are. We would like you to complete this survey as honestly as you can. Your personal data will always be kept 100% confidential and is open to men and women, union members and non-union members.

We encourage you to share the survey with friends, family, and colleagues in order that we may use the broad trends gathered from this data to influence and create guidance for workplaces, in order to enhance the experience of hundreds of thousands of women at work during this time in their lives.

Complete the survey

Edinburgh World Justice Festival

The Edinburgh World Justice Festival is hosting a variety of interesting events across the city from 30 September to 16 October.

Check out the programme on their website. Events cover topics such as equality, refugees in Scotland, Grenfell, the global arms trade and Palestine.

Unite members will be along to a few events, so comment below if you’re going and would like to meet up.