RMT union celebrating LGBT History Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) history month is an annual event that takes place every February. A range of events are organised around the world to celebrate the lives of activists and acknowledging their role in history, culture and society.

RMT LGBT officer Finsbury Park branch John Stack said that the events play an important role in raising awareness of the prejudice and discrimination that people still face and in helping to break down barriers to equality of opportunity.

“This year we are launching a new badge for all our LGBT members and supporters and the annual LGBT weekend at the education centre in Doncaster is also taking place February 26/27.

“The aim of the weekend is to encourage LGBT members to be active within the union covering history and structure of the union, along with writing and presenting resolutions.

“If you wish to go, please do contact your branch secretary as you will need to be nominated by your branch, I highly recommend it,”.

LGBT advisory committee chair Steven Moule also said that the union needed your help in updating the details held on the membership database.

“Please spare a few minutes to look at the member’s section and then 'my personal details' on the website and update any details that you need to by filling the relevant sections in ie sexuality, transgender, and if you want to be contacted about equality information.

“By doing this your union will be able to contact you regarding any activities that might be happening in your region or nationally.

“For example last year members attended a number of Pride events across the country including London, Birmingham and Brighton. “Members also attended the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival, Durham Miners gala and Burston School march. “You can also be kept informed of other activities that RMT may be alerted to from other unions throughout the country and the TUC and please be assured all information you provide is kept confidential,” he said.

Steven said that it was important to be active in your branch including electing an LGBT representative on the branch committee plus equality representatives that can cover black and ethnic minority members, disabled members and women members.

“These posts are actively encouraged by the union and each region should have these additional positions which are waiting for volunteers to come forward to fill them. “If your branch or region do not have these posts, ask why and get them filled.

“The LGBT advisory committee advises the union on all matters relating to LGBT members both in and out of the union and there is an annual conference held around the country which is open to all LGBT members and a great chance to network.

This year’s conference is on May 13-14 in the Ramada Nottingham City Centre – I hope you can join us.

“Motions are passed by these meetings and shape how the union works and campaigns on issues such as hate crime and international LGBT rights supporting demonstrations outside embassies when those countries have proposed antiLGBT legislation,” he said.

LGBT members also represent the union in the wider trade union movement at the TUC and STUC conferences each year, sending full delegations, moving motions and sitting on LGBT committees.

Speak to your Branch Secretary if you are interested in being nominated to any of the committees or the conferences. If you have difficulty in doing that, contact our Equal Opportunities Officer, Jess Webb, on J.Webb@rmt.org.uk or contact the members’ helpline.

This is your union and your voice is vital to help all your LGBT colleagues in all grades. If you chose to update your details as a small ‘thank you’ you will be sent a new RMT rainbow badge– don’t miss out!