27 April 2022

The impact of pay, pensions and the cost of living on women

Bridget Corcoran talks about the multiple aspects of how pay, pensions and the cost of living are impacting our women members

Women make up more than 50% of the PCS membership. This shows that women value being part of a union which fights on behalf of its members on important areas such as pay, pensions and on the cost of living.

One of the main issues faced by our women members is the gender pay gap. Many of these members work in low paid, unsecure, and part-time roles, as well as taking on the role as care giver, responsible for caring for children and/or elderly family members. This has an impact on earnings, promotion and pension funds.

PCS is campaigning for a fair rate of pay for our members, to end the pensions robbery and for a decent standard of living for all our members, recognising women are often at the bottom of the pay scales.

At a recent lunchtime event for women, union members shared their stories and their need for this campaign to be successful. This comment below is typical of many:

“I think it’s ridiculous that I’m part of the civil service who have ‘kept this country going' yet have to claim Universal Credit and clothing grants for my child. If Universal Credit didn't pay my rent and the Scottish Government cover the 'bedroom tax' my daughter and I would have to choose between heat or food - as it is, we have had to cut right back in energy use and the food we buy.”

Another member commented: “Sometimes you may feel you are managing circumstances alone, but then you hear so many colleagues experiencing the same or similar worries. It means we should come together and demand what is fair and right.”

Input like this shows how important it is that we win this campaign. The PCS annual delegate conference in May will debate on the next stage of the campaign, including the move to a statutory ballot.

Please consider getting more involved in the union by becoming an advocate and/or joining a PCS regional equality women’s network by emailing: equality@pcs.org.uk and help us to win for all members.