Eastern disability equality network

PCS EDEN - Eastern disability equality network "We want action not platitudes"

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In the beginning

PCS EDEN was set up after the national PCS disability seminar held in Bristol in October 2006 promoted the setting up of regional disability networks.

Carole Griffiths (Peterborough Land Registry) and Darrell Binding (Southend Revenue and Customs) met at the Bristol event, and went on to organise interested PCS members within the region to attend an inaugural meeting of what became called EDEN in December 2006.

EDEN regularly invited speakers to its meetings to discuss certain issues, and in February 2008, ten of its steering committee became disability champions at the TUC course specifically held at regional office for EDEN members and guests.

Where we are now

Due to unforeseen circumstances and the attack on facility time for our activists regular network meetings have not been held in recent years. However an EDEN re-launch meeting was held in September 2016 and a group of members acting as a steering committee will work to re-establish EDEN as an active network.

Disabled members in departments and agencies throughout the eastern region are invited to join EDEN. Please download and complete the application form in the related documents box on the right; network membership is open to PCS members working in the eastern region who consider themselves to have a disability. If you are not eligible for membership you can still join the email mailing list - please email your details to EasternEquality@pcs.org.uk.

A poster has been produced and a logo designed to further brand the EDEN network.

A library of books, leaflets and contacts is held at regional office, and are available to members on request.

Particular issues EDEN are interested in include:

  • disability equality schemes of various public bodies
  • reasonable adjustments and funding, as part of the Equality Act 2010
  • and measures to publicise the network and campaign on issues that members are interested in.

EDEN Events have been held at different venues around the region that were accessible to as many as possible so that more people can get involved and learn about the disability agenda. Due to unforeseen circumstances an annual general meeting has not been held since 2010.

Members are beginning to disseminate the work of EDEN by speaking at BECs and attending other events, and it is the specific aim to encourage and find more activists to build on what has been achieved so far and strengthen PCS in the way it works for disabled members as well as other groups.

EDEN does not carry out personal cases for disabled members but are happy to advise reps and members if asked on disability issues.

EDEN disability definition

PCS supports the Social Model of Disability. Please take a look at Social and medical disability models for a discussion of the model.

For information on who is covered: 

The Equality Act and disability

The new Equality Act defines disabilities covered under the Act as physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. ‘Substantial’ means more than minor or trivial. ‘Impairment’ covers, for example, long-term medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes, and fluctuating or progressive conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or motor neurone disease. A mental impairment includes mental health conditions (such as bipolar disorder or depression), learning difficulties (such as dyslexia) and learning disabilities (such as autism and Down’s syndrome). Some people, including those with cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV/AIDS, are automatically protected as disabled people by the Act. People with severe disfigurement will be protected as disabled without needing to show that it has a substantial adverse effect on day-today activities.

What has changed?

To qualify for protection from discrimination, a disabled person no longer has to show that their impairment affects a particular ‘capacity’, such as mobility or speech, hearing or eyesight. 'A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities.'

For further information on the changes in the Equality Act 2010 and links to government guides visit the PCS Equality Act 2010 information page or visit the Equalities Office webpages.

Registering disability

If you have not already done so, please register as a disabled member on the PCS membership system. The more members registered means a stronger bargaining position for members with a disability. You can register as disabled through i-membership, the PCS membership department or the PCS Eastern regional office. You will also be registering as disabled by joining the network (download the application form from the related documents box on the right).

EDEN newsletters and posters

We are currently updating the EDEN poster to promote the network as the regional office has moved.

EDEN convenors

The EDEN convenors are:

  • Secretary - Shaz Ambrose
  • Convenor - Vipin Dattani

If you wish to contact the above please email us on EasternEquality@pcs.org.uk

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