UNISON women’s conference voted unanimously to support the campaign for Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) when they debated pensions in Brighton today, backing women born on, or after, 6 April 1951 who have been adversely affected by changes to pensions.
Jan Lord from Brighton and Hove local government branch said: “I am 60, I didn’t think I’d be talking to conference about this. I’m not asking to bungee jump; I’m just asking for some finances to support me in my old age.”
Jan was just one of the many women who stood up and told conference how the change in pension age and the inadequate communication about the changes has impacted their lives.
Elizabeth Rankin, who works in a mental health hospital, spoke about planning to retire at 60, then finding out she had to work until 63, then finding out again she had to wait another two years. “We’re keeping young people out of a job,” she said.
When the group of women affected by the changes started work they were often paid much less than men and often excluded from workplace pension schemes.
This generation has benefitted little from the social and legal changes that have improved working women’s lives and yet they are now being asked to shoulder a huge burden.
Eleanor Smith, of national women’s committee, pointed out that the women affected by the changes often did not have the chance to earn a decent occupational pension, many of them are now the ones plugging the care gap, and the one thing they thought they could count on was their pension.
She encouraged everyone who can to attend the demonstration at the Houses of Parliament on 8 March, and talk to their MPs about the changes.
For more information visit the WASPI website.
On a lighter note, have a listen to the WASPI women singing their anthem.