On 2 August 2018 our union’s national executive committee provided a statement outlining PCS policy on proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) following the beginning of the Westminster government consultation on the matter.
Our union has a strong record of campaigning for equality and our statement affirmed our full support for our trans and non binary members, as well as the wider community, and recognised the need to reform the GRA in order to address the oppressive medical and bureaucratic processes within the existing gender recognition process.
Our NEC agreed to work with PCS Proud, the PCS National Women’s Forum and other allies in order to consider our response to the consultation and ensuring that reform of the GRA comes about, in line with the policies agreed by our union’s annual delegate conference.
Following on from the statement both Proud and the national women’s forum consulted within their individual structures, this then fed into a wider discussion within PCS’ Equality Coordinating Committee in September.
Our union’s consultation response was subsequently agreed, in line with ADC policy, and submitted before the consultation ended on 19 October 2018.
We now await the government response before we consider our union’s next steps in regards to reforming the Gender Recognition Act.
In the meantime we recognise that elements of the debate surrounding this issue have become polarised and divisive. We acknowledge that there have been actions, on both sides of the debate, which go beyond what we consider acceptable and are clear that such actions have no place in our union or our movement.
We are agreed that there must be space for calm and open discussion on this issue in order to address the concerns that remain on both sides so that we may reach a unified position on which to move forward.
We are in agreement that these discussions must be free from intimidation, threats or acts of violence and must not be used by anyone to engage in homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, sexist or misogynistic abuse or language.
We call on all PCS members to come together, in recognition that unity within our movement is the best way we can fight for equality and challenge this Government and its austerity agenda which continues to punish workers and breed inequality in our society.
Mark Serwotka (General secretary) Kris Hendry (Chair of Proud) Zita Holbourne (Chair of NWF/PCS Vice President)