PCS TUC 17 Congress delegate Mark Leopard backed calls for TUC Congress House to be made fully accessible for disabled people.
Motion 79 to TUC Congress called for the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference to be held at an alternative venue while the London listed headquarters of the TUC are upgraded to allow disabled workers to more easily access the building.
Mark spoke to the motion and received warm applause when he described that he had only been able to attend Congress through the support of PCS.
“Congress needs to take the time to make the improvements needed to ensure many disabled members can take part in that conference,” he said.
Fight for equality every day
Sean McGovern chair of the TUC's Disabled Workers' Committee moved the motion and said the venue was uncomfortable for many conference attendees.
Mandy Hudson from the NEU said: “We fight for equality every single day in our workplaces, we shouldn’t have to fight for it here.
“It’s a great pity that, at the moment, disabled workers are blocked by the monument of Congress House in accessing our conference.”
She said the TUC needs to “make sure all workers get access properly to the benefit of the conference, rather than being blocked”.
TUC deputy general secretary Paul Nowak said the TUC General Council would meet with members of the committee about the implications of passing the motion. He said there would be cost implications of the meeting the demands of the motion.
The motion, which was carried unanimously, called on the TUC to recognise an access audit carried out in February that Congress House is not reasonably accessible to disabled people and make the building meet fully accessible standards.
It recommended that the TUC Disabled Workers Conference is held in an alternative accessible venue until Congress House is brought up to this standard.