Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Report from #CALC2020 - Campaigning for Change

Today I'm attending the Critical Approaches to Libraries Conference 2020 and I am aiming to do some liveblogging, although paradoxically I find it more difficult to liveblog virtual events than physical ones - as usual, I have to say this is just my impression of what was said. The first keynote, Campaigning for Change, is from Quinn Roache, who is Policy Officer, LGBT+ and Disabled Workers, Equalities and Strategies Department, Trades Union Congress. After introducing himself, he explained what the TUC was (to be really brief it is the umbrella organisation for Trade Unions in the UK, founded in 1868). He identified the work of trade unions at places of work, but also more widely in society. When advocating for change or developing poloicies they consult and work with with concerned members, as the keyword is "democracy", and pay attention to research evidence. He went on to say more about a campaign about disability employment and pay gaps, with their research showing both that disabled people were less likely to have a job (30% less, with variations between type of disability) and those with jobs were getting paid less. Amongst other things it showed that government targets of erasing the gaps were unachievable without radical action.
Roache presented some statistics from the TUC research, showing that diasbled workers were having to make stark choices about buying essential items, because of their low pay: the report and recommendations are here and here. He talked about how they designed and built the campaign, building up an infrastructure, communicating the message (creating unbranded material to support the campaign) and reaching influencers.
After this, Roache talked about their LGBT Sexual Harassment research, which started with a roundtable with members from affiliated unions. They carried out a survey with specific questions about LGBT sexual harassment. It discovered that 70% of respondents had experienced sexual harassment, e.g. 40% reported hearing colleagues make unwelcome comments about their sex life, and 1 in 8 LGBT women reported serious sexual assault or rape at work. The research is here and the TUC's page on their campaign against sexual harassment is here. He finished by talking about TUC work giving workers a voice in the time of Coronavirus - see here.

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