[2023] Motion 34 Tackling sexual violence in the workplace

Composited motion

Received from:

Unions have achieved many successes of which we should rightly be proud. However, one area where unions have not been making enough of a difference is reducing sexual violence in workplaces. This should now be a genuine priority across our movement.

The scale and impact of the problem cannot be under-estimated. The British Medical Journal reports 35,606 sexual safety incidents recorded across the NHS between 2017 and 2022. 91 per cent of female doctors reported sexism in their workplace. Yet only one NHS Trust in England reported providing dedicated training in preventing sexual harassment.

We also have to challenge ourselves. Women now make up a majority of trade union members but this is not reflected in many of our leaderships at national and local level. The track record of some of these leaders has also undermined our collective credibility. We have to be brave and honest enough to say we have not been doing enough and we have to expect more of ourselves as well as employers.

We therefore call on TUC and affiliates to affiliate to the ‘White Ribbon’ campaign. In partnership with them and other experts and advocates in preventing sexual violence we should also:

i. prioritise reviewing and improving our activities and behaviours so they reflect safe, secure and empowering spaces for all members

ii. provide training to support representatives and leaders to reflect on our own behaviours, attitudes and approaches

iii. support delivery of bystander training programmes for representatives.

Society of Radiographers

› Insert new paragraph 3 that says:
“The impact includes sexual harassment by third parties like patients, customers and students. UCU research found 14 per cent of tertiary education staff who had experienced sexual harassment had been harassed by a student.’
› Insert new point after iv.:
“v. Continue campaigning for the introduction of a new duty for employers to prevent harassment by third parties.”
University and College Union