1. Protesting against attacks on disabled people. The Tories are intensifying their assault on disabled people's rights, particularly access to benefits. I will be circulating information about protests and other events in and around London. Please look out for these and encourage members to take part.
2. Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC). Our union affiliates to DPAC, an excellent organisation that actively does what its names suggests! I propose that the Regional Council invites DPAC to speak at its September meeting.
3. Your branch meeting. I would like to speak to branch meetings about disability issues. Please contact me about when it would be best for me to come to your branch, and whether you would also like me to invite DPAC to speak.
4. Representing disabled members. If you would like any assistance in representing disabled members, please contact me.
5. Fit for the Future - Stations. I have been representing disability issues in the Equality talks on Fit for the Future - Stations. If we do not stop, or radically change, this policy, there will be appalling consequences both for disabled staff and for staff who care for disabled dependents. There is a detailed briefing on this here:http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/5593
6. RMT Disabled Members' Advisory Committee. June's RMT Annual General Meeting voted to overturn the Council of Executives' decision not to propose a rule change to set up a Disabled Members' Advisory Committee. This means that the rule change will go to next year's AGM and, if successful, will establish this Committee. This is very welcome news, as disabled members have so far not had the structures within the union that other under-represented groups have had. Members had become very frustrated with the Executive's refusal to act on this.
7. TUC Disabled Workers' Committee. I am a member of this committee, and for the second year have been elected as its co-Chair. You can read reports of its meetings here. I and the other co-Chair have set up a Facebook group, Trade Union Disability Solidarity, which is an excellent forum for keeping up with disabled workers' issues and struggles and asking for support and advice. Join it here.
8. More plans. I hope to organise training on disability issues, and other activities suggested by reps and members. Please let me know of any suggestions.
Yours in solidarity
Disability Officer, RMT London Transport Regional Council