Branch Women Members Group
Women Against State Pension Inequality
Members encouraged to support the WASPI campaign
The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign was started to fight against the unfair treatment of women born in the 1950s (on or after 6 April 1950) through an increase to their state pension age. The changes were drawn up with little or no personal notice, with a faster than promised implementation and without enough time for women born in the 1950s to make alternative plans. Thousands of women will not receive their state pension on the date they planned for, and will have to work longer than expected or could face financial hardship in retirement.
Many PCS members are directly affected. The public sector pay cap has effectively led to a wage cut. This makes it more difficult to plan for the future when you are already dealing with meeting everyday costs.PCS continues to work to break the public sector pay cap and lobby government ministers through our Parliamentary Group.
For more information on who WASPI are and what they are doing visit their website.
Government advisors were clear that changes like this should only happen with at least 10-15 years’ notice but in practice, notification letters were only sent out to affected women 14 years after the 1995 Pensions Act in 2009.
Many received this information with just one year’s notice of the change.
Very many others received only 3, 4 or 5 years’ notice and many women report receiving NO letter at all.
The WASPI campaign is clear that it supports the equalisation of the state pension age between men and women but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented.
Although men have also had their state pension age changed too, this campaign is about women. That is because in terms of formal notice it is clear that women have been treated unfavourably compared to men. A large percentage of these women were given as little as one or two years’ notice of up to a 6 year increase to their State Pension Age, compared to men who received 6 years’ notice of a one year rise in their State Pension Age.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Those who are affected by the changes born between 6 April 1950 and 31 December 1959 can do the following:
- Join the local WASPI campaign group
- Write to your MP to ask them to raise the issue in any way they can
- Make a personal complaint to the Department of Work and Pensions for maladministration
‘WASPI women’ are beginning to overwhelm the DWP with their official letters of complaint, which form part of the legal action that WASPI is taking against the government. The WASPI campaign has developed guidance on how you can make a formal complaint to the government department responsible for this maladministration.
If the complaints are successful, the Parliamentary Ombudsman can recommend that the government restore the women who have complained to the same financial position as if the maladministration had not happened.
It may be that the Parliamentary Ombudsman could recommend compensation for all women affected by the pension age changes, but there is no guarantee that this will happen. So, to be sure of receiving any possible future compensation, WASPI recommend that everyone affected should take action and send in their own complaint to the DWP.
PCS fully supports the WASPI campaign and all members affected.
For more important information - Read the expert guidance on the WASPI campaign website
Scottish Women's Convention Conference
Saturday 19th August, Glasgow
The Scottish Women's Convention will be holding a Young Women's Conference on Saturday 19th August at the Glasgow Hilton Grosvenor, Byres Road, Glasgow, G72 0TA.
The event is free and open to women aged between 16 and 25. Members interested should register by calling 0141 339 4797 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scottish Womens Convention is set up to communicate and consult with women in Scotland in order to influence public policy. It aims to provide an effective way of consulting with a diverse range of women in Scotland with a network of over 300,000 members throughout Scotland. For more information visit www.scottishwomensconvention.org
PCS National Women Members' Seminar 2017
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th June, Leeds
The PCS Women’s Seminar will be held at the Novotel in Leeds on the 24-25 June 2017.
The theme will be “Women’s Rights at Work”.
The seminar is aimed at women members who are newly active or who would like to become more active in PCS. Applications are positively welcomed from black, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, disabled and young women members who are often under-represented at union events.
The seminar will seek to encourage greater participation from women members and will integrate PCS campaigning and organising priorities with the particular challenges faced by PCS women members.
A variety of speakers, workshops and discussion group sessions will be spread across the weekend.
PCS fully appreciates there may be special sensitivities linked to disability and LGBT issues, and all applications will be treated confidentially.
Members can nominate themselves and an application can be found on this page. Further copies are available by contacting the Equality Department on 020 7801 2683. Alternatively you can email requests for application forms to email@example.com.
Registration will open at 11am on Saturday 24 June, with lunch at 12 noon and the seminar starting at 1pm. The seminar will finish no later than 1pm on Sunday 25 June.
PCS will meet the costs of accommodation, meals, and reasonable travel, including those for carers. Access requirements will be met as far as possible.
Childcare facilities will be provided for children between the ages of 6 months and 14 years, however places are limited.
Delegates are encouraged to make alternative arrangements where possible and PCS will cover the costs of reasonable childcare claims on production of a receipt from a registered carer.
Applicants must submit a supporting statement detailing why they wish to attend as this information forms part of the selection criteria.
Please note all successful applicants are required to attend for the entire duration of the seminar.
The closing date for receipt of applications is noon on Thursday, 11 May, 2017.
Please also note that all seminar correspondence will be sent by email to the email address included on the application form unless you notify us otherwise.
If you have any questions regarding PCS and the work of the Womens' Network, you can contact our Branch Women's Officer, Pauline Johnston, in confidence.
Branch Women's Advisory Committee
The 2017/18 Branch Women's Advisory Committee, as elected at our 2017 AGM, are
- Pauline Johnston (Branch Women's Officer)
- Catherine Cranston
- Julia McMurray
- Sandra Muir
- Angela Stewart
If any member is interested in joining the BWAC or the work of the Committee then please contact our Branch Women's Officer, Pauline Johnston.
PCS Women's Seminar
Saturday 25th - Sunday 26th June, Birmingham
The 2016 National Women's Seminar will take place in the Novotel Hotel in Birmingham on the weekend of the 25th and 26th June. This year's theme will be "Hear our Voice."
A variety of speakers, workshops and discussion group sessions will take place over the course of the weekend. Seminar will seek to encourage greater participation from PCS' women members and integrate PCS campaigning and organising priorities with particular challenges faced by PCS women members.
Seminar is particularly beneficial to members who are newly active and/or would like to become more active in PCS. Costs will be met centrally by PCS to assist members in attending Seminar and limited childcare facilities are available.
Members can nominate themselves to attend through our application process. Forms are available from local reps, please feel free to speak to any local rep for more information regarding Seminar or support in applying.
Please note any applications must be received by 12pm on Wednesday 13th May 2016
International Women's Day
Every year March 8th is celebrated as International Women's Day. First observed in 1909 it has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration of the advancement of women's equality as well as to reflect on the inequalities that many women continue to face in today's society.
With over half of PCS' membership being women it is vitally important that as many of our female members as possible are active within PCS to ensure our campaigns and political debate are truly representative.
Here in the Branch we have the Branch Women's Advisory Committee which serves to campaign and ensure female issues are taken seriously within the Branch. PCS nationally also have the National Women's Forum which advises the NEC as well as organising campaigns and events aimed at PCS' women members.
For more details on what the Branch does on women's issues then feel free to contact any local rep who will be happy to discuss. For details on PCS' national work, including for IWD16, then you can find more information here.