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Tuesday 09 July 2024

FDA at the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference 2024

The FDA’s delegation joined hundreds of delegates from TUC-affiliated unions at the TUC’s Disabled Workers’ Conference. Our delegates had the opportunity to engage with the wider trade union movement and to share issues and priorities with other unions.
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Our delegation L to R Najeeb Hameed, Chloé François-Oatway, Sarah Carter, Jon Martlew, and James Kavanagh, with our lead delegate Sandra Wilson at the front

 

Every year the TUC hosts a series of equality conferences that supplement the general work of TUC Congress. These conferences focus on supporting the advancement of issues that disproportionally impact minority groups. 

The FDA sent a delegation of six members to the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference 2024 which was held in Liverpool 23-24 May. 

Conference heard from speakers including Vicky Foxcroft MP and Paul Nowak, the TUC General Secretary. There were two panel events, the first focusing on pride in disability and the social model of disability, and the second on how disabled workers can thrive following the general election.

Our delegation lead, Sandra Wilson, FDA Executive Committee member, said:

“As I am ambulatory disabled the union arranged for me to stay in a hotel that did not have steps to access and to hire an electric wheelchair so I could navigate the conference safely.

“We heard resolutions from a range of union delegates covering everything from pay and conditions to access to support and recognition of conditions such as Long Covid. I was privileged to be able to speak in support of two motions. This included Motion 12 Work Capability Assessment from Equity, which we has submitted an amendment to. I was delighted the amended motion passed.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet fellow union members from different departments who also manage work and disability within the civil service, as well as an opportunity to learn about challenges faced by trade unionists in other industries.”

Delegate Chloé François-Oatway, who has been co-opted as a committee member for disabled workers for the TUC Women’s Committee since the conference said:

“I was honoured to attend and speak at the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference as part of the FDA delegation. The atmosphere was vibrant, other delegates were passionate and their speeches empowering. 

“I seconded Motion 5 The Right to Reasonable Adjustments from the CSP, calling for fair and timely access to reasonable adjustments for disabled workers, as well as ensuring employers understand their legal duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled workers. As of 2023, 1 in 8 of us still waited over a year for their adjustments to be implemented. Reasonable adjustments are indeed a legal requirement for disabled employees but are also a great tool to remove barriers to the workplace, help disabled people stay in their role and be more productive (Business Disability Forum, Great Big Workplace Adjustment Survey 2023). Sadly, despite limited experience in the workplace, I have witnessed ableism, disability discrimination and inadequate support for disabled workers. 

"I told the conference it is important we not let employers and the government get complacent in implementing adjustments on time and with empathy and that we will not stand for discrimination against those exercise their right to request adjustments. I was delighted to see this motion carried forward, empowering me to continue campaigning for timely access to adjustments across the civil service.”

Delegate Najeeb Hameed said:

“I really enjoyed attending the TUC Disability Conference as part of the FDA Delegation. This was my first TUC conference and I left feeling empowered. It was a great opportunity to meet others from the union and wider trade union community. I will take away some good memories and lessons from the these few days.”

 

Get involved 

If members want to help shape the union’s equality work, they can apply to be part of the FDA delegation for TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference and other equality conferences in 2025. Calls for applications will go out to all members in late summer/autumn 2024.

2nd Jul 2024
At this year’s ADC, Fast Stream member Cyara Buchuck-Wilsenach received the Wendy Jones Equality Award for her work to advance gender equality in the civil service.
10th Jul 2024
The 2024 group Impact Award was presented to the Fast Stream section for their hard-fought campaign to secure a pay rise for members worth up to 22.5%
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