Kris considers the LGBT+ case for the 10% pay rise.
Growing up I would often hear people refer to the Pink Pound, a common myth that members of the LGBT+ community, predominantly those identifying as LGB, were better off in comparison to our heterosexual colleagues as we typically didn’t have our own families to take care of, and therefore had greater disposable incomes.
Twenty years ago that may have been more likely to be true, however the legal advances for LGBT+ people over the past two decades means that many LGBT+ people now do have their own families to take care of, facing the same financial commitments and hardships as many other families do.
But even for those of us, myself included, who are yet to start their own families, the need for a decent pay rise remains just as important.
Our National Women’s Forum has already highlighted the issue of Period Dignity, an issue which affects many LGBT+ people, in terms of both cisgender women but also many trans men and non-binary people.
For young LGBT+ members, 10% could be the difference between a safe place to live, the daily threat of violence or homelessness.
Rates of homelessness are disproportionately higher among LGBT+ youth, primarily down to LGBT+ phobic attitudes of parents/family and rejection on coming out. Unfortunately soaring rents, lack of social housing and cuts, in the name of austerity, have left many young LGBT+ people, including our members, facing the tough choice of having to hide who they are, just to have a roof over their head.
For our Trans members, the government’s 1% pay cap may mean they have been unable to complete their journey to becoming their true selves.
In our recent submission on reforming the Gender Recognition Act, we argued for the removal of the costs associated with applying for, and receiving, a Gender Recognition Certificate.
However, at present, these fees and costs continue to remain in place. A 10% pay rise could remove the financial barriers to members wishing to fully transition and to be able to live as their true self in every aspect of their lives.
As we enter the final stages of this ballot, we need all PCS members (LGBT+ or not) to use your vote to say YES to 10% in order to give us the best chance of winning the pay rise that we all deserve.
If you haven’t already then make sure you post your vote today and let your local reps know you’ve voted so we can speak to those who may not have voted yet.
Proud, PCS’s LGBT+ members group, is open to all PCS members, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Visit the Equality pages for more details.