TUC Disabled Workers Conference says 'Nothing about us, without us' and seeks social model understanding of disability

Over 200 trade unionists attended the TUC Disabled Workers Conference 2024 in Liverpool this week.

TUC disabled workers conference 2024
CSP delegates Iona Bateman, Jasmine Churms and Robert Minter

On its opening day, conference heard from TUC leaders and Vicky Foxcroft MP, who set out her plans to break down barriers to disabled people being employed. 

Four CSP delegates attended conference, from the associate, qualified and student membership categories. 

Physiotherapist and TUC disabled workers committee member Jasmine Churms delivered their speech on the CSP motion to conference on reasonable adjustments.

'Issues facing disabled people are rife. We are misunderstood and even where reasonable adjustments are agreed, we can still be left waiting, adding unnecessary stress and disadvantage to us,' they said. 

'We've had members who have been told their adjustments would disadvantage their peers and other who have been asked to finance their adjustments with their own money.'

The motion received passed unanimously.

Social model of disability 

Other motions at conference called for wider adoptions of the social model of disability - where people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment. The CSP are proud to adopt this stance, and we know this helps us to recognise the barriers that are life harder for disabled people. Removing these barriers leads to greater independence, choice, and control. 

Preventing the closure of rail ticket offices - campaign success

An emergency motion was brought to the conference in 2023 opposing plans by the government and train companies to close nearly 1,000 ticket offices across the rail network. This caused huge concern for many in society, including disabled people who are acutely aware of the benefits of ticket offices. Station ticket machines are not accessible. 

Following campaigning led by trade unions, lobbying of MPs and policy makers, the closure of rail ticket offices was prevented, a big win for the union movement. 

CSP national officer Siân Caulfield said: 'The prevention of ticket office closures will benefit many of our members, particularly disabled members. We were proud to support this campaign and this shows that when we come together, we can win.'

If you are a disabled member of the CSP, you can attend the TUC Disabled Workers Conference, held annually. Get in touch with Siân Caulfield to find out more.



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