Received from: TUC Women's Conference
The recent media coverage of the #metoo campaign and the University and College Union’s survey revealed sexual harassment, assault and gender-based violence as endemic in our society and a serious unspoken problem. It has been clear how prevalent sexual harassment is across our most powerful institutions, including political organisations, entertainment industries, universities and colleges and unfortunately within our trade union movement, to name but a few.
Congress notes that companies treat sexual harassment and assault in the same way as other kinds of harassment, lost within a general harassment and bullying policy. Staff on precarious contracts, PhD students and early career lecturers can be particularly vulnerable because of dependence upon male white structures for promotion or work. They often suffer in silence.
Congress also notes that trade unions have a vital role to play in educating both employers and employees to eliminate sexual harassment and assault within the workplace.
Much more work now needs to be done on staff-on-student abuse and studenton-staff abuse and the particular vulnerability of black women. The NUS and 1752 Group are conducting research, and launching a campaign about, staff-on student sexual misconduct.
Congress calls on the General Council to/for:
i. joint union resourcing to develop research and policy
ii. a joint union campaign to highlight the issue
iii. build on the TUC “Protection from Sexual Harassment” guidance and campaign for all employers to have a separate sexual harassment and assault policy to give it the prominence it clearly needs
iv. promote an education programme including a model procedure for all trade unions on how to tackle and eliminate sexual harassment and assault in the workplace
v. provide training for reps supporting members who have suffered this abuse
vi. guidance on how trade unions should deal with cases against reps
vii. resource training and support for reps and members who bravely come forward.
TUC Women’s Conference