E-Equality Newsletter No 2 – April 2006

Regional Women’s Conferences and Equality Forums – your chance to make a difference

The Regional Women’s Conference and Equality Forums are taking place in April and May. These are an important part of Amicus’s structures and we want as many members as possible to be involved.

Amicus has structures for women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, black and ethnic minority, disability and young members under 27.

If you would like to attend please see the attached for more details: http://www.amicustheunion.org/Default.aspx?page=362

or telephone Joyce Mills on 020 84627755.

Stop the BNP – May local election

Stop the BNP was set up by Searchlight Magazine to counter racism and fascism in elections. Both Searchlight and Stop the BNP are supported by Amicus. Searchlight has played a major role in defeating the BNP in many places throughout the country since 2003.

We must continue to build the fight against the BNP in the May 2006 elections. A number of Days of Action are planned in the lead up the elections and Amicus would encourage members to attend these events if they are taking place where you live.

Watch www.stopthebnp.com for up-to-date news as the local election campaign develops.

Age Discrimination at work to be outlawed later this year

The final measures to outlaw discrimination in the workplace have been published by the Government and come into affect on 6 October 2006. The regulations will:

ban unjustified retirement ages below the age of 65

ban age discrimination in terms of recruitment, promotion and training

remove the current age limit for unfair dismissal and redundancy rights

introduce a right for employees to request working beyond retirement age and a duty on employers to consider that request

a new requirement for employers to give at least six months notice to employees about their intended retirement date so that employees can better plan for retirement.

A copy of the regulations can be found at www.dti.gsi.ogv.uk/er/equality/age.htm

Amicus will be publishing a Negotiators’ Guidelines on Age Discrimination in the next few months so look out for it as it will be useful in dealing with the issue in the workplace.

Women’s membership of trade unions on the increase

Union membership amongst women rose strongly in 2005 – the percentage of the workforce that are union members is now higher for women at nearly 30% compared with 28% for men. This is the second consecutive year that the rate of female employee union membership has outpaced that of men.

The total number of trade union members in now 6.39 million workers, and although this is a small fall on the previous year, union density has been maintained at 29%.

A full copy of the report is available at www.dti.gov.uk/publications.

The Equalities Review Interim Report reveals that there are persistent inequalities in the UK that need to be addressed.

The Equalities Review, chaired by Trevor Phillips, was set up by the Government in 2005 to investigate inequality and discrimination in the UK and to report to the Prime Minister on what needs to be done to make people more equal.

Following an initial consultation, to which Amicus responded, an interim report has been published identifying eleven current challenges where there are critical penalties causing inequality, including:

Inequality for certain ethnic groups in education
The impact of homophobic bullying on lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers on their educational achievement
The job prospects of lone and partnered women after having children, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women and disabled and older people.

The Review is seeking views on its findings and priorities and will then publish a final report in the autumn of 2006. For more information on the review visit www.theequalitiesreview.org.uk

New report points to the rise in women at work

The Labour Market Review has reported that women’s employment has increased from a rate of 56% in 1971 to 70% in 2005. This means that there are now 4 million more women in work now than back in the early 70s and a significant amount of this is due to the rise in working mothers.

The report also highlighted the rise in service sector jobs with 61% of workers’ jobs in this sector in 1978 compared to 82% now. During the same period jobs in manufacturing, which are dominated by men, declined from 28% to 12% in total.

Despite the increasing number of women workers the gender pay gap still persists with a gap of 18% for full-time women and an appalling 38% for women who work part-time.

Achieving equal pay for women, black and ethnic minorities and disabled workers is a key priority for Amicus. For more details on the campaign please view http://www.amicustheunion.org/Default.aspx?page=2299

May Day Parade for pensions and jobs

Come and celebrate May Day with all the family and send a message to the Government – “We want to secure well paid jobs and well funded pensions”.

Date – Monday, 1 May
Time – from 12 noon
Location – Assemble Clarkenwell Green 12 noon, Rally 2.30pm Trafalgar Square

The Amicus Regional Offices are arranging for coaches to take members to the Parade. Please click on the attached for more details, or contact your l shop steward, representative or Amicus Regional Office http://www.amicustheunion.org/Default.aspx?page=3637

If you would like receive the e-equality Newsletter on a regular basis please contact Karen Cole with your e-mail address on karen.cole@amicustheunion.org to be added to our contact list. Please feel free to circulate this bulletin to other Amicus representatives, shop stewards and members.

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