Monday, 3 July 2017

“Would you challenge disability discrimination in the workplace?”

In March 2017 I wrote a short post entitled “Disability Workplace Scenario: What would you do?”
Here it is:
“In a workplace I know there is a regular meeting held in a room.
The room for one of the workers is inaccessible because of their disability.
Several colleagues have raised the accessibility issue with the employer, but the meetings continue to be held in the same room.
Some of the workers colleagues refuse to attend the meeting in the room with the employer and sit in solidarity with the worker with the disability, a electronic link is provided in the room, but it does not allow those not in the room to fully participate in the meetings.
My question to grassroots trade unions members is what would you do?
1. Sit in solidarity with the worker and apply pressure on the employer to move to a fully accessible room.
2. Ask the employer to move to a more accessible room but continue to sit in the room with the employer.
3. Just sit in the room with the employer and do nothing.
I know what I would do, but interested in what others think is right.”
It attracted a good deal of opinion including one which suggested contacting the union.
Well, have a read of this Blog post entitled: “I wish UNISON would make all NEC meetings fully accessible”
The post was written Wednesday, 15 July 2015 by Max Watson one of the hardest working trade union reps I have ever met.
He wrote the article to highlight the plight of one of NEC UNISON reps.
Read the article yourself, but from what I can gather the current situation is still ongoing as Max wrote
“A consistent group of conscientious NEC members, in solidarity with the Local Government General Seat member, Paul Holmes, who is not able to go up to the ninth floor, sit with him in a video conference room on the first floor. It is just not right to leave our fellow NEC member sitting alone talking through a mic to the rest of the council just because he has a disability.”
Tomorrow the new NEC are meeting for the first time.
There is now a much bigger group UNISON Action Broad Left looking to make our union more ‘transparent, accountable and democratic.’ We must get behind them.
For now they number 29.
As for the issue raised by Max I hope common sense will prevail and the current seating arrangement is dealt with, just like we would deal with it if it was an employer.
I agree with Max when he states:
“There is a simple, agreeable solution: to all meet on the ground floor.”
Do you agree with Max?

If this solution is not accepted I would hope there are at least 29 UNISON NEC reps sitting in solidarity on the first floor. 

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