Report on National Equality Conference 2015

You'll find here a report by our equality officer on the national equality conference that has just taken place.

Equality report 2014-2015

The UCU equality group has met regularly to discuss items raised by UCU members. The branch welcomes new members in the equality group. Please contact Sue Abbott to get involved.

  • Every Autumn UCU has conferences for women/BME/LGBT/disabled members. These are really important events to ensure networking and campaigning. These events were publicised in the branch and will continue to be publicised.
  • A Black History month event was organised in the region which was circulated to UCU members here. We organised very successful events for both Holocaust Memorial Day in January and LGBT History month in February (in conjunction with the Tyneside cinema) with film showings and speakers. Both events were sell -out events many thanks to Andy Mullen for all his help in this.
  • International Women's Day was celebrated in March when a new National UCU film was produced and circulated in the branch.
  • On 28 February there was a far right Pegida march in Newcastle. Many of us were there from the branch to oppose Pegida and were involved in the anti- fascist activities leading up to the day. On 23 May the Unity festival – designed to promote cultural integration took place in Newcastle (which UCU gave national funding)and attracted 5000 capacity
  • Local funding has been given to a feminist theatre company and a national feminist library as well as 'journey to justice'.
  • UCU meets with University management once a semester as part of the Equality and Diversity sub – committee. The committee includes UNISON and GMB. The areas discussed this year include disability access (still an area of deep to concern to UCU), monitoring of equality data, managing autism in teaching, Athena Swan, domestic abuse, support for breastfeeding mothers, equality impact assessments, Equal Pay audits, work loading for gender, lad culture campaign, staff survey, mental health issues, Stonewall campaign and prayer facilities
  • There have also been issues raised connected with gender neutral toilet's, religious observation, bullying, dyslexia and mental health issues


Priorities for next year


  • Set up a support group initiated for new International staff and particularly look to address workplace issues affecting BME staff. We have already had our first meeting on 19 May 2015 and the next one is 2 July
  • Publicise widely the national equality conferences and increase attendance.
  • Raise awareness of anti-fascism and far right
  • Keep campaigning for improved maternity/paternity provision.

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