Insecure Work, Gender Pay Gap & Pensions discussed at Women's Council of the Isles

5 Oct 2017

Women's Council of Isles 2017

Insecure Work, the Gender Pay Gap, pensions and deficts in the care infrastructure across the UK and Ireland were among the issues discussed at the recent Women's Council of the Isles gathering, in Cardiff. 

This unique annual event features union leaders and representatives of the Womens' Committees from Congress, the Wales TUC, the Scottish TUC and the TUC in England. The 2107 event was hosted by the WTUC, in Cardiff. 

The Congress delegation was among the largest with representation from the Women's Committees - north and south - along Executive Council members Jacquie White and Patricia McKeown.  Each Committee took turns to present on topics as diverse as: The menopause – a workplace issue; The pension penalty for women’ and the urgent need for proper flexible working arrangements for parents. 

NI Women’s Committee Chair Jacquie White updfated delegates onthe new NIC ICTU campaign Better Work Better Lives and how women in the NI labour market are being forced into insecure and low paid work. Republic of Ireland Chair Margaret Coughlan spoke of the need for robust gender pay gap legislation in the Republic of Ireland.

It became clear that it made no difference whether women workers were based in Cardiff, Belfast, Dublin, London or Glasgow, the same issues kept arising: Low pay, insecure work, stress and mental health issues and the inadequacies of the childcare and elder care systems.Despite the challenges we left the two days with renewed energy together with optimism and determination. The challenges are great but these women (and hundreds of thousands like them) are completely committed to the power of the trade union movement to transform workers lives and achieve a more equal society.