Challenge inequality

Join one of the UNISON groups that campaign for equality – for women, Black, LGBT+, disabled, young and retired people

UNISON members have set up groups for people who have interests in common. These groups are called self-organised groups and cover women, Black members, disabled members and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus members.

There is also a retired members group and a young members group, which work in a slightly different way to the other self-organised groups.

If you would like to find out more about self-organised groups in your area, your branch will be able to give you contact details.

Promote equality for women

There are women’s groups at every level in UNISON: local, regional and national. This 
is how women address issues that particularly affect them, issues like low pay, discrimination and harassment. Those issues and others can then be discussed at the annual national women’s conference and worked on by the elected members of the women’s national committee.

If you would like to know more about women members in the Eastern region, please contact Natalie Platts on

Find out about the women members group on UNISON’s national website.

Promote equality for Black people

UNISON is clear that all workers in public services are better off in a trade union.  All workers may face problems relating to pay, terms and conditions, restructures, disciplinaries etc. However Black members are also at risk of experiencing another layer of problems relating to racism and discrimination.  We want more Black activists in workplaces like yours who can talk to their colleagues about the benefit of joining UNISON and becoming active.

UNISON’s Black members’ group campaigns for equality in the workplace and the wider community. Many UNISON branches support local groups for their Black members.  However, there is also an Eastern regional group which meets 4 times a year. Your branch will pay for your travel costs and lunch is always provided. The group considers how more Black workers can be recruited into UNISON and how more Black UNISON members can become active in their union.  We also look at what the union can do to tackle the causes and effects of discrimination. The meetings are relaxed but informative and well attended.

There is also an annual national conference held in February. This is the largest gathering of Black trade union members in Europe and is always an informative and uplifting event.

If you would like to know more about Black Members in the Eastern region, please contact Winston Dorsett on 01245 608910 or email

Find out about the Black members group on UNISON’s national website.

Promote equality for disabled people

Disabled members of UNISON are coming together to challenge discrimination and to break down the barriers that prevent them playing a full and equal role in society, both inside and outside of work.

There are regional disabled members groups that hold a range of different meetings and social events, so why not go along and find out more. Your branch can help with details. Our national disabled members committee and our national annual disabled members conference set the priorities for the union’s work in this area.

If you would like to know more about disabled members in the Eastern region, please contact Jennie Anderson on

Find out about the disabled members group on UNISON’s national website.

Promote equality for LGBT+ people

LGBT+ people in UNISON organise locally and nationally to support each other, to identify discrimination, to increase awareness of LGBT+ rights and to campaign for change. You can find out about local and national events through your regional group, who can also put you in touch with other people who share your concerns. LGBT+ members meet as a self-organised group at national level and there is an annual LGBT+ conference.

If you would like to know more about LGBT+ activity in the Eastern region, please contact

Find out about the LGBT+ group on UNISON’s national website.

Promote equality for young people

UNISON has one of the largest young memberships in a UK trade union and offers lots of opportunities for our young members (under the age of 27) to get involved in the union.

Every region holds a young members’ forum, and we have a national young members’ forum that gives young members a voice at the top level of the union. We encourage young members to come along to our national young members’ forum which is held every year and offers you a series of skills based workshops and debates to help you get more active in the union.

Find out about the young members group on UNISON’s national website.

Promote equality for retired people

When you retire, you don’t have to give up your membership of UNISON. The skills and experience of retired members are vital at UNISON, which is why we have a retired members section that has its own annual conference and local and regional groups.

Each UNISON branch has a retired members officer, and we are always looking for retired members who can offer their time and experience to help our branches and members.

Find out about the retired members group on UNISON’s national website.

Promote equality at UNISON conferences

National delegate conference is UNISON’s big conference of the year at which members decide the issues and policies that UNISON takes forward.

Every UNISON branch elects delegates to attend and vote on behalf of their local branch members – and we want to make sure women, Black, LGBT+, disabled, retired and young members are represented fairly.

Contact your branch to find out how to get involved in a self-organised group.