Speech to support Motion: Violence Against Women (not called to speak) Labour Women’s Conference 23 February 2019

My name is Anya Cook, Newcastle North Constituency, University & College Union National Executive and mentor at Newcastle College.

I support this motion.

I would add that those of us trade unionists here can work to take the principles of this motion forward in our own workplaces.

Women in the workplace, when they disclose they are experiencing sexual harassment or domestic violence can experience further blocks from management, deliberately or not deliberately from managers who might be embarrassed, not know what to do, who might make punitive decisions regarding requests for time off for medical, housing, multi-agency appointments.

This creates more stress in an already stressful situation.

These blocks, whether deliberate or not deliberate are themselves, acts of violence.

And this creates fear, fear of coming forward, disclosing and asking for help.

So what can we do about this?

It is through our trade unions that we can put our social and our socialist values into effect in the workplace.

At Newcastle College our UCU Branch has created Guidance for Managers in helping colleagues experiencing sexual harassment or domestic violence and abuse.

This guidance outlines the signs, symptoms, how to manage time off, signposting etc.

This guidance is going to be rolled out across the 7 colleges and 2 training providers that comprise Newcastle College Group; due to be launched on International Women’s Day.

This is a win for UCU.

This is a win for the trade union movement.

And it is a stepchange in creating a working environment where my colleagues, our sisters in need, need not fear coming forward, knowing they will be listened to and supported.

Please support this motion.

*note not called to speak, speech not used

One thought on “Speech to support Motion: Violence Against Women (not called to speak) Labour Women’s Conference 23 February 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s