The primary role of the Equality Rep is to advise the Local Association/Further Education or Higher Education Branch, and to engage with and support members on equality issues, as well as taking forward the equality agenda as a whole in the workplace.
Equality Reps are not required to undertake casework or represent members although they may provide support and advice to EIS Reps undertaking that role.
Reps are approved by their Local Associations / FE or HE branches, and are required to adhere to the policies, rules and regulations of the EIS.
EIS Equality Reps work in both primary and secondary schools within local authority areas, and within Further Education and Higher Education establishments or Branches.
Equality Reps play an active and supportive role within their Local Association/ Branch, for example, by:
Offering advice to members on equality legislation as it relates to discrimination, harassment, victimisation, reasonable adjustment and positive action
Advising on equality issues at Local Association/Branch meetings
Providing information and advice to Local Association/Branch officials involved in negotiations related to equality issues.
Another important responsibility of Equality Reps is to assist in the development of an equality agenda at local authority and/or establishment level, and in devising a strategy for its promotion. In doing so, Equality Reps:
Consult with colleagues on equality issues and gather information to support the development of an equality strategy
Actively contribute to the creation of equality strategy at local authority and/or establishment level on a collegiate basis
Monitor the implementation of and review local strategies and policies designed to promote equality.
Equality Reps also play a role in ensuring a high profile for the equality agenda within educational establishments. They:
Discuss equality issues, as well as resources and examples of good practice addressing the equality agenda, with the local authority/college Equality Officer and other EIS Equality Reps
Promote equality issues through organised meetings and discussion groups, writing articles for newsletters and websites, making use of electronic media and notices, and distributing other relevant EIS/LA information
Keep colleagues up-to-date on the progress and results of any equality initiatives that the EIS is supporting
Provide training on equality issues to Local Association/Branch members
Provide information and advice to Local Association/Branch on equality impact assessments and equality outcomes.
In addition to ongoing support from our Equality Department, the EIS provides full TUC training for Equality Reps on existing equality legislation and how it applies in the workplace.
If you are committed to the equality agenda, are considering taking up this highly interesting, valuable role within the EIS and would like more information, please contact Selma Augestad, National Officer Education and Equality on 0131 225 6244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.