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Equal Opportunities

The current Equalities Officer is Rick Baines.

The following motion was proposed by Harry Dixon to the BEC and passed:

This branch recognises the unique backgrounds of all members.

We undertake to treat all members with equal respect and to promote the aspects of humanity which bring people together.

We agree to campaign against organisations or persons who seek supremacy or to divide peoples.

As a union PCS has a number of different Equalities ‘strands’:

• PCS Proud (LGBT)
• PCS Black Members Network
• PCS Women’s Network
• Disabled members

There are various different resources including the new Women’s Magazine that can be accessed through the above link to the Equalities home page.

In the branch we have a local Equal Opportunities Committee, which is chaired by the Equality Officer and made up of a number of reps and activists, with a range of concerns ranging through disability, race and ethnicity, religion/faith, LGBT, women’s issues, young members, older members, carers and part time workers. We consider Equality to be very important in all the work we do and issues frequently come up through case work and collective issues that need to be assessed from an equality point of view. The Equality Officer also works with the Young Members Officer to look at issues for that group of workers.

Comments from Kerry Dorset, the previous Equalities Officer:

During my time as Equalities Officer I have spent a lot of time protecting members rights from an equalities basis – local management have frequently neglected members’ special needs and this often causes a large amount of stress or conflict. For example, I have pushed for recognition of members of staff to be able to be released to attend a DWP Disabled Members Seminar when they were refused by a misinformed line manager. I have also campaigned for fair treatment and real options for disabled staff who were sidelined after the transformation in Sheffield Hartshead Square to a Contact Centre due to their various disabilities.

I have also regularly defended race equality in the workplace – often challenging members of staff in order to promote a more progressive workplace.

As a parent, I have also spent a lot of time working for the rights of carers and part time workers, who are very often treated as second class in the Department.

In addition, I have promoted Black History Month, International Womens Day, and Holocaust Memorial Day to the branch, and attended local events to report back from the wider community.

I was recently re-elected at the Branch AGM. Over the next year you can I hope to continue working hard to raise the profile of equality in the workplace, especially supporting member regarding the changes to our to there terms and conditions that work in the Contact Centre and the effect this will its having on members with caring responsibilities, health issues and helping ensure them a healthy work life balance. I am also planning to work with the Equal Opportunities committee this year to focus on supporting members with Dyslexia and other learning challenges in the work place. This will involve working with the branch learning co-ordinator to introduce some training for managers and a guide for colleagues who work with colleagues with Dyslexia.



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