Women make up 75% of our UNISON membership with many of them working in low paid jobs, yet the percentage in elected roles, despite our low paid women’s seats, in no way reflects this.
Conference congratulated Eastern for prioritising low paid women in its organising strategy. It backed measures aimed at improving the participation of women in low paid roles and the NEC will report back next year with recommendations for positive action.
An amendment from the National Women’s Committee called on the union to find a different term than “low paid” to avoid stigma or the potential undermining of their role in the union and workplace.
Supporting the amended motion, Aberdeenshire’s Kathleen Kennedy told conference that the kind of jobs these low paid women have, are the kinds of jobs which need to be done there and then.
“The jobs may look minimal but are often facing the public and need to be done at a specific time.
These low paid women’s jobs are bread and butter jobs, so to speak.”
She pointed to the benefits for employers of supporting women’s involvement as the unions then fully represent the whole workplace.
Kathleen added, “Some low paid women may not feel fulfilled in their jobs but union activities can assist with this.
“Employers need to be encouraged to give facility time to encourage low paid women to fully take part,” she urged.