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STUC Union Equality Award Announced

Linda Ford with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has announced that the recipient of the 2018 STUC Equality Award is Linda Ford, Prospect Equality Representative at The James Hutton Institute in Invergowrie, Dundee. The award will be presented by the Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party, today (2:00 pm on Monday, 16 April, Macdonald Aviemore Conference Centre).

Linda has engaged with the Scottish Government’s Disability Stakeholder Events to tackle the disability employment gap and encouraged the project to consult with the STUC Disabled Workers’ Committee. Through her involvement with the STUC’s Equality Rep Network and Scottish Union Learning, Linda established a Dundee equality rep network.

When terms, conditions, and policies were being renegotiated in her workplace, Linda insisted that equality proofing was a fundamental part of the process rather than a retrospective “add-on”. Although her employer is not a public body, Linda has ensured that it carries out a statutory Equality Impact Assessment for all policy changes. In addition, she has successfully campaigned for Prospect membership forms to include appropriate options for non-binary people. Her newest campaign is to see that all materials, printed or electronic, conform to accessibility best practice levels. Linda also sits on the STUC Disabled Workers’ Committee.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary, said:

“Linda is a deserving recipient of the STUC Equality Award and her story shows the impact that effective trade union reps have on workplace and employer culture. Not only did she challenge her employer to go the extra mile to ensure the impact of changes are assessed through an equality lens, she worked with her own trade union to change its practice, too. This is exactly what we need to happen across the trade union movement to ensure that equality is given its essential and rightful place at the heart of what we do.”

Linda Ford, Recipient of the 2018 STUC Equality Award, said:

“I feel gobsmacked, humbled and grateful to Prospect for nominating me for this award. I know the quality of Equality Reps out there who are fighting the same battles as I am, so it is an honour to be chosen to receive this award by the STUC.”

Ian Perth, Prospect Negotiations Officer, said:

“Linda is a great example of a trade unionist bringing the ‘principles’ of equality, and ensuring they are practically implemented and engrained into the work place. Her enthusiasm and determination to ensure that equality is at the forefront of all decision making, sets an example to all decision makers and negotiators.

“Linda has been a shining light for the practical value of collectivism in the work place.’’


Notes for editors

  • Scottish Union Learning is part of the STUC and was launched in May 2008. Scottish Union Learning works in partnership with unions to drive forward trade union-led learning in Scotland and administers the Learning Fund and Development Funds, which are supported by the Scottish Government.