9 Dec 2012

December 2012 - Still a lot to tell

I am panicking a bit as I can't find my portable drive.  I left it at home on my travels and my house is a haven of books and papers so it is in a pile of those unless it is in the rubbish when I was trying to put things into order to get ready for Christmas 2020. 

Well I still have to pack for ILGA Conference in Stockholm and I am flying tomorrow, find my portable drive and sort out my bills.

I shall blog about the other things I got up to in November like UNISON LGBT Conference, the Equality Summit in Cyprus, meeting with political parties and trade unions in Northern Cyprus and the meeting of the new ILGA-Europe Board as well as ILGA Conference when I get back from the cold climate.

November 2012 - A nice break in Nice

At the start of November, I took a few days out to have a short break in Nice to build up my vitamin D as I have a vitamin D deficiency and whilst I did get some sun on the first two two days, I brought the rain with me from the North West for the last day and did it rain.

But it did give me the time to take in the Matisse and Chagill Museums.

October 2012 - ILGA Europe Conference

ILGA-Europe Conference took place in Dublin from 18-21 October 2012. 

The theme of this year's conference is Advancing LGBTI equality in challenging economic times.

You can read more here


October 2012 - UNISON Disabled Members Conference

UNISON Disabled Members Conference was very interesting with debate around austerity, benefit cuts, social care, hate crime, discrimination in employment and suprisingly the social model of disability.

Disabled Members Conference Decisions

September 2012 - Busy Month for UNISON disabled lgbt members

Very busy this month for the National LGBT Committee.  We held our Disabled Members Network Day and drafted motions for conference focusing on austerity measures, attitudes towards disabled people and benefit cuts.

After what was called a succesful olympics and paralympics, the government has now started to screw disabled athletes with cuts in benefits.  This follows the disgraceful sponsorship of the olumpics by ATOS and the recent report that the since the refusal of benefits following assessments, more than 1000 disabled people have died after losing their benefits.

July 2012 - World Pride

Despite the fiasco in the last few days leading up to World Pride when funding was pulled so all floats had to be cancelled, the marching parade attended by people from across the globe proved to be a hit and to some extent not having floats, in my opinion was more community based, more political and less commercial.

The downside was the confusion and the political reasons why the funding was pulled.

However, it was a good day and to be able to catch up with friends from across the globe was fab.

July 2012 - TUC LGBT Conference

TUC LGBT Conference was interesting with an international theme this year.  Speakers from the Africa, Palestine and the Caribbean were present.  There were motions on the commonwealth and on aid conditionality.  The GMB held an international fringe event and I was a guest speaker alongside professor Robert Wintermutte.  I spoke about aid conditionality and not linking it to lgbt rights.  LGBT Labour also held a pre-World Pride reception.

TUC LGBT Conference Report

May / June 2012 - Preston Caribbean Carnival

Always a reason I like to be back in my home town.....

June 2012 - Prague

Grabbed a few days break!

May 2012 - ILGA-Europe Constitution

Oh dear why did I volunteer to write a simplified version of the constitution.  This was so arduous but it is completed.  However, because of regulations, we have been required to check it with lawyers and unfortunately can't have a simplified version.  In fact we must have an even more complicated version than the original and it must be in French!  That's Belgian law for you.

April 2012 - Elected to the Branch Committee

Bearly in post and new to the branch but have been elected to the branch committee as a steward, LGBT Officer, Disabled members Officer and they also want me to be the welfare officer.  It is a little difficult being a national branch as we represent members in England, Cymru / Wales, Scotland and Nothern Ireland so it is good for national bargaining but not so good for representing workplaces as we can be called all over the place and in various sectors including retail.

And on top of that we are all members of the Greater London region which is not too bad if you live or work in London but I live and work in the North West of England!

March 2012 - Building trade union links in Slovenia

Working with SKUC-LL, myself and the national LGBT officer from UNISON held a seminar with the teachers trade union and the trade union confederation on organising vulnerable workers.  The seminar had a particular focus on lgbt workers and also included areas of diversity amongst lgbt workers.  SKUC-LL have gone on to produce a guide for trade unions.

This leads on from previous work we have carried out with SKUC-LL and has proven to be a successful partnership.

We wished them well in their general protest against austerity which was due to take place a few weeks later.

January 2012 - New job

I have managed to secure a new part time job working for Barnardos the children and young people's charity to prevent young people becoming homeless and providing advice and support to homeless young people and those in housing need.  And there is a lot of them and with current government policies, likely to be a lot more.

January 2012 - Lobbying the European Parliament

I attended an event with ILGA-Europe at the European Parliament to re-launch the LGBT pledge which saw a number of MEPs sign up to the pledge for LGBT equality and human rights.

Jan 2012 - Foreign Aid and Conditionality

I spoke at an event organised by LGBT Labour about the future of LGBT Rights Internationally and focused on Trans Rights including the need for work to be done in respect of human rights of Trans people including around depath and forced sterisation.  I also spoke about not making foreign aid conditional on lgbt human rights and the need to work with grass roots and human rights defenders in the Global South.

Louise in 2011

From August 2011
Re-elected to ILGA-Europe Board
Part-time Training Officer for University of Central Lancashire Student Union
Undertook teacher training at University of Bolton
Undertook employment law training with Darlington College
Attended UNISON National LGBT Conference
Attended ILGA-Europe Conference in Turin

Bloggers Block

I can't believe it's been over 12 months since I last blogged.  Just goes to show what austerity measures do when following redundancy, the majority of your time is taken up with part time work and looking again for full time employment.  But over a year later, after working in public services for over 15 years, I still have not managed to secure full time employment.  I do challenge the government that we are all in this together and with the Autumn budget statement, the future looks even more bleak.  Perhaps, this will give me the incentive to catch up on my blogging.