In May the Executive Committee attended the GFTU Biennial General Council meeting, or BGCM. This started on a Sunday lunchtime and ran through to Tuesday afternoon, and we had a very busy couple of days!
The BGCM is the GFTU’s policy making conference, and this was an important one, welcoming in a new General Secretary, Gawain Little, with the current GS, Doug Nicholls, retiring. I first met Doug some time ago and he was a good help to our former Gen Sec, Tom, and has also been a help to me with advice and accessing services which have benefited a number of SA members.
I was proud to speak in support of motions regarding better fitting PPE for women along with the confusing and changing landscape of student loans. These have recently changed and will impact more graduates in the future, with women disproportionately affected by repayments. I know many of you will have children or other family members who will be affected by this.
I was also pleased to propose a motion to the BGCM which will enhance how the GFTU supports smaller unions with equality issues. Many bigger unions have separate equality structures to support their members, which mirror NHBC’s networks. With gender pay gap reporting, we know how women’s pay is below that of men doing a similar job and this is reflected in NHBC’s reporting - here.
TUC reports indicate a similar gap with disabled workers, Black workers (TUC term used) and LGBT+ workers.
Supporting smaller unions like ours with their equality structures will help us share best practice and get stronger for you, our members.