LGBT Members

UNISON recognises the importance of its LGBT members and its responsibility for paying particular attention to our needs: that LGBT rights are trade union issues. UNISON’s commitment to equality and to tackling discrimination is written into the union’s rules. UNISON’s support for LGBT rights has not come out of thin air. It is the consequence of many years of work and lobbying by our activists. Members meet as a self-organised group at branch, regional and national level.

Branch groups

There is a developing network of branch LGBT groups which meet to discuss local terms and conditions, build a support network for members facing problems at work, provide a forum for the debate of issues, and assist members in gaining the confidence to get involved in other levels of the union. Branches join together and feed into:

Regional groups

Each of UNISON’s 12 regions has a group which meets regularly. Regional groups are involved in a whole range of activities – taking up places on the regional structures to represent our members, organising training courses for activists, supporting the formation of branch groups, working closely with the other self-organised groups in UNISON. Regional groups each elect two representatives to the national level.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members – stronger together

In UNISON, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members work together to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and build equality for us all. We believe we are stronger together. But we also recognise it’s important to make room for the distinctive voice of bisexual members and transgender members. These groups have reserved seats on the national committee, to ensure they are well represented, elected at annual national bi and Tran’s network days.

NUH&AS branch feel that this is the way forward and would like to set up a SOG within the branch but we need to know weather LGBT staff within the trust are willing to support us in this venture.


Q: Will the people I work with or my employer know?
A: NO the group will be totally confidential and no one within the trust will be told.

Q: Will the meeting be in work time?
A: NO the aim of the SOG is to be done out of work time and would be set up as a social gathering where people can come chat have a drink and get to know other people and chat about issues .

If you would like more information, please contact:

Our LGBT Officer
Jaymes Kettle-Madon

Ext 76384

James Kettle-Madon


My name is Jaymes Kettle-Madon. I have worked for the NHS for 33 years.  For the past 21 years I have taken an active role in Unison as both Branch Steward and for 9 years as Assistant Branch Secretary. Before that I was the Branch Chair person. I care passionately about the NHS and its workforce, and the outsourced staff with the associated companies.

During my term as a union official, I have seen through a number of key challenges that have faced the NHS, the most significant being the outsourcing of staff to the private building company, Carillon and the catering staff to Elior. I have taken an active roll on the Staff Side committee as well as on the Partnership committee bringing up issues that relate to the working lives of staff and for patient care.

Also as an active Unison steward, I have represented members at Disciplinary meetings, Grievances and at Sickness Absence Review meetings. I have a particular interest in equality and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBTQ) issues. Over the past years, I have endeavoured to represent the members not only with the one day a week facility time I have, but I have also  spent the last year attending meetings and representing in my own time as well as on days off .

I will continue to deal with the number of challenges that need to be overcome like the vast amount of workforce changes that are happening in Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as the cuts to our NHS budgets that we need to fight not only to keep the NHS but to continue to support our members in providing information and publications about the union and its work on a regular basis, and to provide and maintain educational facilities and encourage members to participate in them.

My aims and objectives are:

To ensure equality of treatment and fare representation for members

To protect the rights of members

To keep members informed as to the best of my abilities and knowledge

To promote and improve health, safety and welfare of our members in the work force

To promote our member-led union and carry out and fulfil decisions made by members

To promote far representation in all union structures for women, black members disabled members, as well as lesbian gay bisexual and transgender members

To encourage solidarity and effective working partnerships

I enjoy role as Branch Assistant Secretary, and enjoy the challenges of being a representative for you, and I would greatly value your support.



Conference discusses fighting back against the politics of hate

LGBT delegates hear of fears after EU referendum and pledge to fight rise of hate crime after the vote

How did the Nazis come to power in Germany in the 1930s? “It happens like this.”

Deirdre Costigan, for the national committee, was introducing a motion looking at how LGBT UNISON members could hold true to the values of that community in the present circumstances.

And she related how, as the EU referendum votes were counted, a Labour councillor she was standing near at a count in London, observed that, while he’d always wondered how the people of Germany had let Hitler in in the 1930s, “it happens like this.”

Ms Costigan told delegates: “We must not lose hope. We’ve had setbacks this year and there may be more to come, across Europe and beyond”.

But that is precisely why UNISON members need to reassert their rights and freedoms.

Suggesting that, in the future, school pupils will read about this year in their history books, she noted: “I hope my grandnieces will be able to say: the trade unionists – they never, ever gave up.”

Speakers, including members who have come to the UK from other EU countries, expressed concerns about what the future holds – not least as recorded hate crimes have risen massively in the wake of the referendum vote.

Further debates also specifically highlighted the need to fight hate crime, and to ensure that every incident is reported as fully as possible.

“The fear is that the current shenanigans around Brexit will cause further hate crime,” said one speaker.

Philip O’Shea from Wolverhampton observed that hate crime had always been with us, although matters had improved in recent decades.

“What can we do?” he asked. We can support people and we can help them report hate crimes – and don’t believe that “you can turn away and it won’t happen to you”.

Young member Alex Montgomerie told conference how, at a young members’ weekend earlier this year, socialising in the evening at a club, one of the group was targeted by a man who started ranting at them.

Mr Montgomerie said that the other young members got involved to defend the person being attacked and, eventually, the police came and removed the aggressor. In other words, he said, we can stand in solidarity and make a difference.

Delegates also emphasised the need to defend and promote LGBT equality under the law, as the Conservative government continues to put up more barriers to equality – not least in the continuing use of fees and any hurdles for anyone seeking redress at an employment tribunal.