From the chair

Greetings and welcome to the first issue of LGBT+ Matters for 2019.

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my personal thanks to everyone who was able to participate in Proud’s Annual General Meeting in November and helped set out how we will continue to take LGBT+ equality forward in our union.

Having been involved with Proud over recent years, there’s little doubt that the group had begun to struggle in terms of engagement and activity, with more work falling on a smaller number of reps to keep the group moving.

Our AGM saw the election of our new national committee and, as chair, I am incredibly excited to help lead and work with everyone who stood for our new national committee.

Last year we worked closely with PCS’ Equality Department on a number of measures aimed at rebuilding Proud, most notably our Proud survey which offered all PCS members an opportunity to have their say on how we take LGBT+ issues forward. Details of our survey and how we will be taking this forward will be published in due course, if you’re interested in getting involved then make sure to contact us at proud@pcs.org.uk.

One common issue raised was trans equality and the current “debate” taking place surrounding potential reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

There’s little doubt that this past year or so has been a difficult one for our trans members, and the wider community.

With the consultation surrounding the GRA over, there continues to be a poisonous environment that persists around the issue. Proud recognises that there are some genuinely held concerns regarding the issue, however we are also clear that these concerns cannot be used as a cover for engaging in transphobic hate.

We will continue to stand alongside our trans siblings and call out those who seek to question, mock or otherwise diminish the validity or experience of our trans members and the wider community.

Looking more widely, as we go to press. we’re gearing up for the start of the next stage of our pay campaign, namely the start of PCS’ pay ballot.

For many years our community has been viewed as the market of the “pink pound” but we should be in no doubt that many LGBT+ members are struggling under the government’s pay cap and not only need but deserve a decent pay rise.

So when you receive your ballot paper, I encourage you to vote yes and post your ballot paper as soon as possible. A yes vote is not just a vote for you but for everyone in PCS who has borne the brunt of our government’s austerity agenda over the past decade.

Kris Hendry
Chair of PCS Proud

 

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