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The biennial TUC equality audits came out of an important TUC rule change in 2001, which committed the TUC and unions to promote equality in all aspects of our work. The first audit was carried out in 2003 and provided a yardstick of equality issues in all union activities. Since then the audits have alternated between focusing on how unions pursue equality issues through collective bargaining and on how union membership, rules and internal structures reflect the diversity of the workforce.
The most recent TUC Equality Audit was carried out in 2011. It focused on equality in trade unions' membership and internal structures. 48 out of 55 affiliates responded to the survey. As large unions were more likely to respond than smaller unions, the audit covers 97% of the 6.5 million trade union members that the TUC represents.
The Audit shows more unions are reaching out to women, black workers, disabled workers, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT) workers and young workers through targeted membership recruitment campaigns. More unions are monitoring not just their membership but the make-up of their shop stewards and executive bodies so they can see where different groups are under-represented. There has also been a significant increase in the proportion of unions who have taken action to encourage women members to play an active role within the union, either as a shop steward or branch official. And, although still a minority, the proportion of unions using reserved seats to ensure a more diverse and representative executive body and Congress delegation has increased too.
The 2014 survey of union structures, policies and services relating to equality, featuring a response rate covering 95 per cent of the TUC’s 5.6 million British trade union members.
The results, which can be compared with those from the 2012 audit, provide important reading for all member unions.
The next TUC Equality Audit will be carried out in 2016. It will focus on trade unions' efforts to further equality in the workplace through collective bargaining.
- Download the 2012 audit in Adobe pdf format
- Download the 2011 audit in Adobe pdf format
- Download the 2009 audit in Adobe pdf format
- Download the 2007 audit in Adobe pdf format