Disabled Workers and the TUC Strategic Governance Review

The TUC has been consulting on proposal to improve its equality structures. Following consultation, the following proposals will go forward to the TUC Executive:

  • producing an annual equality campaign plan
  • submitting the TUC Equality Audit to the General Council
  • holding an annual meeting of the equality committee chairs with the General Secretary
  • aligning dates of committee meetings with General Council meetings
  • new guidance for committee and general council members on role and remit
  • short statements of purpose, agreed with each committee
  • increased use of digital technology
  • the General Council to host conference socials
  • monitoring of number of lay representatives (as distinct from union officers) attending conferences, with a view to increasing
  • stronger encouragement for unions to send women delegates to Women’s Conference, black / ethnic minority delegates to Black Workers’ Conference, etc


Some suggested changes have been rejected:

  • committee meetings starting at 10am starts
  • two committees to meet on the same day
  • reduction in number of committee meetings
  • biennial conferences
  • cutting conferences to one day


Discussing these on 6 January, the TUC Disabled Workers' Conference broadly accepted them (and was pleased at the rejection of cuts proposals), with the exception that there was a strong feeling that the TUC insist - rather than just urge - that union delegates must be from the relevant equality group. We want our Disabled Workers’ Conference to be made up of disabled workers, and for our standing orders to state this explicitly. This argument will be taken to the General Council.


There was also discussion about the accessibility and location of the venues we use for conferences and committee meetings.


I had previously proposed that the single seat for disabled workers on the TUC General Council be replaced by two seats - one each for a disabled worker representative of large unions and small unions. We were told that this is beyond the remit of this particular review, and would need to be put forward as a separate proposal.


Janine Booth

RMT nominee on TUC Disabled Workers' Committee