Branch tables Emergency Motion at UNISON National Delegate Conference to Save the Women’s Library

Delegates, please support the Emergency motion to UNISON’s National Delegates Conference 2012 #UNDC12, submitted by London Metropolitan University UNISON Branch

Support the campaign to Save The Women’s Library

This conference notes:

1. The Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University is the premier collection of women’s history in the UK. It is a truly unique resource established in 1926 by women who had fought for the vote.

2. The Library collection includes documents recognised by UNESCO which record the heroic struggle for women’s suffrage alongside hundreds of thousands of other materials recording the lives lived and campaigns fought by women since the sixteenth century

3. In spite of the Library’s acknowledged national and international importance London Metropolitan University’s Board of Governors made the decision to find a new home, supporter or custodian for The Women’s Library in March 2012, threatening the Library’s future and its staff’s employment.

4. The Save The Women’s Library campaign, initiated by London Met UNISON draws support from a wide range of the Library’s supporters and users.

5. Over two-thirds of UNISON members are women and the purple and green colours of our logo pay tribute to the Suffragettes.

This conference believes:

1. In the run-up to a major suffrage anniversary in 2018, The Women’s Library should be looking to thrive, not just survive.

2. The Library must be saved as it exists today: retaining the integrity of its world-renowned collection; the expertise of its staff; and the purpose built premises, which have become a vibrant hub for its users, supporters and friends.

3. The threat to The Women’s Library is illustrative of the threat to women-focused services which are increasingly at risk due to public sector cuts.

This conference calls upon the NEC to:

1. Support the London Metropolitan University UNISON’s Save The Women’s Library campaign by promoting and publicising the issue amongst its members and within the broader trade union movement.

2. Write to the London Metropolitan University’s Vice Chancellor expressing deep concern at its decision and full support for our campaign to save our own radical heritage.

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