Disablity Officer's report for RMT London Transport Regional Council, September 2016
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Contact me: j.booth@rmt.org.uk

1. Disabled People Against Cuts held a week of action to coincide with the Paralympic Games. During the week, DPAC attended our Southern Rail picket line. Disabled campaigners have compiled a report alleging that Southern's plans to remove guards breach the Equality Act in making its services less accessible to disabled passengers.

2. I have spoken about disability issues at several branch meetings, in our region and beyond, and am happy to speak at more.

3. As branch AGMs approach, I ask branches to consider electing a Disability Officer. This will help us coordinate campaigning and deliver support more effectively.

4. I have drafted a Disability in the Workplace training course for the union. This is now in the process of being approved and accredited by Northern College Barnsley, and will hopefully be ready to run as a trial within a couple of months.

5. I am working with a steering group of autistic and other neurodivergent (dyslexic, dyspraxic, etc) people, and with John McDonnell MP, to develop a Labour Party Autism / Neurodiversity Manifesto - a programme of radical, anti-austerity, socialist policies that will made a difference to the lives of many people. We launched the manifesto consultation at Labour Party conference yesterday (28 September). I would like to give a presentation about this to the Regional Council and to branches to get your input into this policy document.

6. On the subject of the Labour Party, new Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams (Owen Smith's replacement) has announced that Labour will scrap the sanctions regime and the Work Capability Assessment. This is excellent news and a victory for disability campaigners.

7. I am drafting a submission for the union to put to LUL Company Council, as the company is not meeting its legal obligations under the Autism Act. It also refused a request from our union to negotiate an autism employment policy with us. While it continues to refuse to negotiate such an agreement, it continues to discriminate against autistic employees.

8. I hope that the Regional Council will pass the resolutions on mental health today and look forward to help implement them.

9. As LUL has consistently ignored our representation that its abolition of seated roles on stations under Fit for the Future is discriminatory towards disabled people, I have submitted this argument to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and will also submit it to the Mayor's review.

10. The national union has sent nomination papers to branches for delegates to next year's TUC Disabled Workers' Conference. Please considering nominating someone from your branch. RMT has sent increasingly large delegations over the last few years, and everyone who has attended has found it inspiring and beneficial.

11. RMT AGM agreed a rule change to create a National Disabled Members' Advisory Committee. I have not heard anything about the implementation of this: I hope the Executive member will update the Regional Council. Look out for a circular inviting nominations form branches - and please consider nominating someone.

12. Disability History Month starts on 24 November. The theme this year is Language, and TUC Disabled Workers' Committee is considering ideas for how trade unionists can use this opportunity to use historical lessons to fight discrimination.