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Model Motions

Sisters to the front

As a result of our last on-line event : 'Trade Union Sisters: Working together to tackle violence against Women' workshop, the following model motions were drafted by some of those Sisters who attended the event and are shared here for use and adaption with a view to them being submitted by network members to their local union branches.

 

Please let us know if you get these motions passed or indeed if you have any problems in progressing them either internally with your own union or with your trade union employer

Model Motion 1: Domestic Violence and Abuse is a workplace issue

This branch notes that anyone can experience domestic violence and abuse, whether they are, or have been, in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. Such violence can take a number of forms including:

  • Verbal abuse

  • Physical violence

  • Controlling behaviour

  • Gaslighting - undermining or manipulating someone so they doubt themselves

  • Financial abuse

  • Sexual abuse

  • Online abuse

  • Revenge porn – the sharing of private sexual materials

  • Female genital mutilation

  • “Honour” based violence

  • Forced marriage

This branch believes that just because we talk about “domestic” abuse that doesn’t mean that the offences and their impact don’t spill over into the workplace. Often the workplace can be the only safe space for those experiencing abuse, although abusers can encroach on this too.

This branch further notes that NEU policy on Domestic Violence and Abuse which was drawn up in consultation with staff unions. This policy was created because every employee who is experiencing or has experienced domestic abuse has the right to raise the issue with their employer and be supported effectively, sympathetically and confidentially.

This branch therefore resolves to ask [insert name of employer] to draw up a Domestic Violence and Abuse policy, similar to the NEU policy, providing the necessary support and training to staff involved in its implementation.

This branch further resolves to ask [insert recognised union here] to draw up a Domestic Violence and Abuse policy, similar to the NEU policy, to support its staff.

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Model Motion 2: Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in the workplace

Sexual violence and harassment is prevalent in workplaces including those of trade union employers.

Sisters to the Front (the independent self-organised group open to all women working for a UK trade union) has heard and seen numerous accounts of such activities taking place in our own workplaces.

We need to see our trade union leaders – both those of the trade union in which we work and the trade union of which we are members – take a firm stance and protect their staff against such abuse.

This branch notes:

1. The development the Sexual Violence Charter for Trade Union employers that has been developed by General Secretaries Jo Grady of UCU and Sarah Woolley of BFAWU in collaboration with Sisters to the Front.

2. The charter demands:

  • No detriment for reporting incidents of sexual harassment or violence or supporting a colleague to do so

  • The establishment of a safe reporting system to encourage quick and honest reporting in line with the wishes of survivors. 

  • An immediate review of internal staff processes relating to sexual harassment or violence and consideration external expert audits where necessary.

  • Mandatory training for all staff and activists in order to establish and embed a zero tolerance culture

  • No use of NDAs or Settlement Agreements to cover up or as an alternative to investigating cases of sexual harassment or violence

  • Workers who have been subject to sexual harassment or violence to be fully supported by their employer and offered access to and time off to attend specialist support should they wish to.

 

This branch resolves:

1. To calls on XXX as our employer to adopt the charter and embed it in our own policies and procedures in consultation with the branch.

2. To use the appropriate mechanism to call on YYY, as our union, to adopt the charter in relation to its own workforce.

3. To publicise ‘Sisters to the Front’ and their events to all women members.