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Pushing for equality in the workplace

3 July 2009 - 4:50pm

Health sector employers need to improve working practices and create more supportive workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered staff, a conference of trade unionists heard.

A motion from the CSP was unanimously passed by the TUC LGBT conference today. It also called for the development of robust procedures for the assessment of employers’ diversity practices concerning sexuality and gender identity.

It was the first time for several years that the CSP had sent a delegation to the event and the Society's motion was the only one relating to health on the agenda.

Delegate Zoe Clare (pictured with CSP equalities officer Saraka Keating, left), a CSP steward and band 6 physio at Northumbria Healthcare trust, said: 'We are concerned that not much is being done in the NHS to promote good practice around lesbian and gay equality'.

The CSP recently asked its members for feedback about being “out” at work, she told delegates.  'In just a few days we’d had more responses than we’d had to any other discussion in the last 12 months'.

In recent years there had been a lot of work done to stamp out abuse of NHS staff, 'but not enough is being done to promote safe, supportive working environments for LGB and trans staff in the NHS and to tackle discrimination, homophobic bullying and harassment, particularly when it involves patients and the public,' said Ms Clare.

Delegates at the CSP's Annual Representative Conference in February agreed an emergency motion calling for the Society to work with campaign group Stonewall and other trade unions to support NHS Employers to improve working practices with regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff.


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