Trade union Unison has set the date for its next bisexual members’ networking meeting – 18 July, in London.
The meeting is open to all bi Unison members. It’s free to take part, with lunch provided. Travel costs incurred are met nationally.
The meeting runs from 10.30am to 1pm.
You can find out more here.
Research published today suggests that while some services for LGBT people have faced cuts as a result of the downturn in the rate of growth of public spending, its had less effect on bisexual people.
Not because we’re being treated better – just because the level of support for bis, especially in funded work, was so much lower to start with.
Of the 101 respondents to the survey, conducted by NatCen for Unison – a mix of service providers and service users – where no or little change had been noted,
“In some cases participants said that there were no ‘LGBT specific services’ in the first place and so austerity cuts had made, or would make, little differences to services provided in their area.
“This was felt to be especially the case for bisexual people where there was often no provision at all.”
Read more here.
Bisexuals can feel isolated at work
It’s Bi Visibility Day and trade union Unison is marking the day by launching a new factsheet setting out why bisexuality is a trade union issue.
They say: “bisexual people face particular issues at work. They can feel very isolated, experiencing stigma from both straight colleagues and lesbian and gay colleagues.
“Although such discrimination is unlawful and many workplace equality policies refer to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, few do more than pay lip service to the existence and rights of bisexual workers.”
Unions like Unison can make a real difference by standing up for the rights of bisexual workers.
“Research published in May 2013 showed that bisexual people experience even higher levels of discrimination at work than gay men. Bisexual people are much more likely to feel they have to hide their sexual orientation at work than lesbians and gay men – very few heterosexual people hide their sexual orientation.
“Bisexual women were the least likely to report discrimination, believing it would not be taken seriously as it ‘happens all the time’.”
Trade unions exist to defend their members from discrimination and to work for better employment conditions. So tackling biphobia in the workplace is clearly a trade union issue. There is more information in Unison’s new bisexuality factsheet that can be downloaded as a PDF here.
The trades union Unison will be holding their annual LGBT Conference in November with a motion on bisexuality on the conference agenda. It highlights The Bisexuality Report to their wider membership and calls for action on bi visibility and tackling biphobia in the workplace.
The motion reads:
5. IMPROVING EQUALITY FOR BI WORKERS AND BI VISIBILITY
Conference notes that the Bisexuality Report published by the Open University earlier this year on the experiences of bisexual people in the UK advised that:
„Of all the larger sexual identity groups, bisexual people have the worst mental health problems, including high rates of depression, anxiety, self harm and suicide. This has been strongly linked to experiences of biphobia and bisexual invisibility‟.
Conference believes that biphobia and bisexual invisibility in the workplace have a considerable part to play in this. Conversely, bi visibility and bi equality at work can make a very positive difference and contribute to healthier workplaces for all.
Conference welcomes increasing acceptance of the need to address sexual orientation as a workplace and as a trade union issue. However, conference recognises that the experiences of lesbian and gay workers are not an adequate barometer to measure the experiences of bi workers. It is essential that biphobia is challenged and bi equality is addressed distinctly. All, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers, share responsibility for this.
Conference further welcomes the growing network of national and local bi groups, websites and events, including the Bi‟s of Colour group, the online Bisexual Index, BiCon and local BiFests, details of which can be found in Bi Community News.
Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee and regional and branch LGBT groups to:
1 Raise awareness within UNISON of the myths and truths about bisexuality;
2) Seek to ensure that negotiations, campaigns, awareness raising and training on workplace sexual orientation equality makes specific reference to tackling biphobia and to bi equality;
3) Publicise bi events and groups and through them promote the benefits of UNISON membership;
4) Use Bi visibility day on 23rd September 2013 – and thereafter – to give a particular focus to this work.
Are you a bisexual member of the trade union UNISON?
* Do you know what UNISON does for bi members?
* Have you been considering getting more involved in UNISON LGBT groups, but not sure how?
* Do you want more information on UNISON’s National Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) conference?
* What are your key campaigning concerns –how can UNISON better support you?
Why not meet and share your views with other bi members at a meeting on Friday 11th July 2008 in London: 10.30am to 1pm. This promises to be a great opportunity to network.