Equality and harassment
Prospect is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all members, irrespective of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or religion.
We all have a responsibility to promote and support equality of opportunity and treatment of all members.
We are committed to the fullest possible participation of all members in the activities of the union. On all our courses, no-one should be put off from participating because of the actions, attitudes or language of other course members. In particular, women, people from ethnic minorities, lesbians, gay men, transgender and disabled members have the right not to be made to feel ill at ease or distressed as a result of the behaviour of others.
In this regard, we should all think about our use of language. This is not a trivial issue - we may sometimes, however inadvertently and unintentionally, reinforce stereotypes or cause offence. It is important to avoid using terminology which may be racist, ageist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or offensive to disabled people.
Just as we would not expect to tolerate unacceptable innuendoes, jokes, banter, and other harassing behaviour in the workplace, so we should not expect to encounter them in a trade union environment.
None of us is perfect - we are all learning all the time. Spend some time to think about what you want to say and how you say it.
Don't be surprised, therefore, if one of the tutors - or one of your colleagues on the course - picks up any gender specific or racist language.
Because equality issues run through all areas of trade union activities - from health and safety to pay negotiations - they will be a recurring theme throughout all the courses in the Prospect programme.