At Monday night’s VAHPA Branch Committee of Management meeting, the following resolution was endorsed:

“The Committee endorses the following communication to our LGBTQIA+ members of a proposal for the establishment of a permanent Working Group:

“On May 17, we celebrated IDAHOBIT Day (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia). It was a day to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from WHO’s International Classification of Diseases. 

VAHPA has been thinking about how unions represent and support the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Before Covid-19, the union movement supported the approval of the Same Sex marriage plebiscite. As we see in the news these days, there has been a rise of far right-wing violence against people from the LGBTQIA+ community. From Florida where LGBTQIA+ people are attacked for who they are and even in Melbourne, where Neo-Nazis are active. 

It is now time for the union movement to take the next steps in supporting our LGBTQIA+ members and community. 

LGBTQIA+ or ally, many young and older people are showing up in solidarity at rallies and protests against homophobia and transphobia. We believe this is a time to act, an opportunity to engage with our LGBTQIA+ members and understand and support your needs in the workplace and beyond.

This would be beneficial to our members but also the gender diverse clients and patients you come across. 

As a union, we have a platform that can inform our members about the issues the LGBTQIA+ community face in your professional and personal life.

In order to do this, VAHPA seeks to establish a LGBTQIA+ Working Group to lead and represent our LGBTIA+ membership, advocate for your interests within our union and define VAHPA positions on issues of social and political importance to our LGBTQIA+ communities. 

If you would like to be involved – either as a member of the Working Group, or simply to keep up to date with its progress – please get in touch, so that we can maintain a contact list, and build our understanding, strength and capacity to fight in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ members.”

John Ryan – VAHPA Assistant Secretary