Category Archives: Uncategorized

LGBT Seminar 2024

(Please scroll to the bottom of this page for the links to the seminar application forms)

The PCS LGBT Members Seminar will be held at the Novotel hotel in Birmingham on the 26-27 November 2024.

Registration will open at 12 noon on Saturday 26 November, with the seminar starting at 1.00 pm. The event will finish no later than 1.00 pm on Sunday 27 November.

The seminar will seek to encourage greater participation from LGBT members and will integrate PCS campaigning and organising priorities with the particular challenges faced by PCS LGBT members.

A variety of speakers, workshops and discussion group sessions will be spread across the weekend.

The seminar is aimed at LGBT members who are newly active or who would like to become more active in PCS. Applications are positively welcomed from black, disabled, women and young members who are often under-represented at union events.

PCS fully appreciates there may be special sensitivities linked to disability and LGBT issues, and all applications will be treated confidentially.

PCS will meet the costs of accommodation, meals, and reasonable travel, including those for carers. Access requirements will be met as far as possible.

Childcare facilities will be provided for children between the ages of 6 months and 14 years, however places are limited.

Delegates are encouraged to make alternative arrangements where possible and PCS will cover the costs of reasonable childcare claims on production of a receipt from a registered carer.

NB: Lunch will be available to delegates on arrival from 12 Noon.

Members can nominate themselves and an application form is attached. Further copies are available on the PCS website www.pcs.org.uk under the news and events section or by contacting the Equality Department on 020 7801 2683. Alternatively you can email requests for application forms to equality@pcs.org.uk.

Applicants must submit a supporting statement detailing why they wish to attend as this information forms part of the selection criteria, and complete the Equality Data Monitoring form also.

Please also note all successful applicants are required to attend for the entire duration of the seminar.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Friday 28 October 2023. Successful applicants will be notified by 4 November 2024.

Please note that all seminar correspondence will be sent by email to the email address included on the application form unless you notify us otherwise.

Please bring this briefing to the attention of LGBT members in your branch. Alternative formats are available.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Equality team on 020 7801 2683. Alternatively you can email at equality@pcs.org.uk.

The three forms to complete can be found by clicking the following links, please send them to Equality@pcs.org.uk.

1app-form-monitoring-data-form

1app-form-supporting-statement

5application-form

Black History Month 2024

Past, Present and Future - Black History Month 2024

By Kris Hendry

[The Proud Black History Month leaflet can be downloaded here]

Held in October, Black History Month is the annual celebration of contributions that those in the black community have made to our history, society and culture. Something often overlooked in more mainstream discussions on such issues.

Proud welcomes this opportunity to reflect on the impact that those from the black community who also identified as LGBT have made to both movements in the struggle for equality. Too often these important individuals are forgotten about, or worse deliberately sidelined to be more palatable for a mainstream audience.

Such was the case with last year’s film adaptation of Stonewall which told the tale of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York, considered the catalyst for the modern day LGBT movement.

The film used a white male character to depict the throwing of the first brick when in fact, based on the testimony of many there, the first brick was thrown by a trans person of colour. Marsha P. Johnson. Marsha, along with close friend Sylvia Rivera, co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries dedicated to helping homeless young trans women of colour and others. Sylvia was also a well known black transgender activist and founding member of the US Gay Liberation Front. Both continued their activism throughout the 1970s and 80s before Martha’s tragic passing in 1992.

Here in the UK we have individuals such as Waheed Alli (Baron Alli), who in July 1998 became the youngest as well as first openly gay peer in Parliament. Waheed has used his position to campaign on a range of issues in relation to LGBT equality. He helped lead the campaign to repeal the cruel and damaging Section 28, advocated for lowering the age of consent from, then, 18 to 16 in line with the age for heterosexual individuals as well as calling for the removal of religious institutions being prohibited from conducting civil partnerships before same sex marriage was even considered.

As we look ahead, the rise in race related incidents and right wing rhetoric both before and after the EU Referendum earlier this year it has never been more important that we stand together in order to confront and challenge this insidious behaviour. It is only by recognising our joint histories and intersectionality that we can truly achieve equality.

Proud will continue to do this and we invite all PCS members to join us. Membership is open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, with dedicated officers on our National Committee for other equality strands to ensure all voices are heard and that we represent all LGBT members equally.

For more information on Black History Month including events taking place across the UK, visit https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/.

The Proud Black History Month leaflet can be downloaded here

Proud visits Orlando

Pulse

On 12 June 2024, Omar Mateen entered Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people by gunshot and injured 53 more. This is widely known as the largest mass shooting in USA history and has been labelled the most appalling LGBT-phobic attacks ever seen.

Dorion Griffiths and Ste Heyward, two of Proud’s officers went to Orlando on 14 June 2023 for a pre-arranged holiday. Whilst on their break they twice attended the memorial site at the Dr Phillips Center for Performing Arts and laid flowers on behalf of PCS Proud. They also attended City Hall in Orlando and wrote in the condolences book which was surrounded by 49 wreaths with the pictures of the victims who were killed.

Dorion, who is Chair of PCS Proud, said “Whilst this was intended to be a holiday, a bit of R&R, it was important to us to go and pay tribute to the victims of such a horrific attack and stand shoulder to shoulder with a community that is in a state of grief. In these times we must remain united. We were truly honoured to be able to take a message of love, support and solidarity from PCS Proud to the memorial site.”

 

Dorion Writing Message

Whilst memorials and funerals began to take place, the Westboro Baptist Church attempted to picket the funerals with the usual “God hates fags” placards. In order to maintain a modicum of dignity, compassion, privacy and respect for those grieving for their loved ones, members of the public dressed as angels and blocked Westboro from spreading their hate at this heart-breaking time.Angels

Whilst this incident may have happened in the United States of America, PCS Proud believes that an injury to one part of the worldwide LGBT community is an injury to all of the community. PCS also has members that work for organisations such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other departments with a worldwide presence.

“Regardless of where this incident took place, any attack on the LGBT community is unacceptable. This incident has been truly horrific and traumatic for many people and we must continue to show our love and support.” Says Ste Heyward, Proud’s Communications Organiser, “The One Orlando fund has been set up to help the victims and their families. I urge everyone to donate what they can. With issues such as travel, medical bills and more, this is an extremely difficult time for them.”

One Orlando

The One Orlando Fund was formally announced by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, people can make donations to this fund and receive updates by going to https://oneorlando.org.

PCS Proud has formally written to Mayor Dyer to express our condolences, support and solidarity.

It is more important than ever that we recognise and respect each other’s differences, allow each other to be our whole selves and stand together in the face of adversity.

In closing, Dorion says “We must take the saying that equality is at the heart of everything we do and put it in to practice every day. Attacks such as this dreadful one must not be allowed to take place. I encourage everyone to take part in activities to raise awareness of equality issues with politicians and the public alike. Whether this is being a part of community groups fighting for gun control in the USA or becoming involved in the work against prejudice in the UK, we must all continue to fight to make the world a better, safer place.”

If you have any questions about the work of PCS Proud, please email Proud@pcs.org.uk or tweet us on @PCS_Proud.

Pulse names of victims killed

This post is in memory of:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

 

 

****Notes****

PCS Proud is a part of the Public and Commercial Services Union in the UK which has members carrying out work for the UK Government in one form or another. Proud is the LGBT Network within PCS. The Chair of Proud is Dorion Griffiths (@DorionGriffiths). Proud can be contacted on Proud@pcs.org.uk

Orlando

Many people woke up on Sunday to the harrowing news that a person had entered Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida and killed 50 people by gunshot, injuring a further 53.

Pulse is a nightclub that serves the LGBTQ community in Orlando, a community that has been shaken to the core by such an abysmal act.

It is our understanding that a state of emergency has been declared by officials.

PCS Proud condemns the attacks upon the LGBT community in any part of the world and recommends that any of our members stationed overseas in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other Government departments take care and follow safety advice.

We share the attached statement from the Human Rights Campaign - https://www.hrc.org/blog/human-rights-campaign-statement-on-tragic-shooting-at-orlando-nightclub-ser

Our thoughts go to all those affected by this utterly appalling slaughter.

PCS Proud Advocates

The role of the PCS Proud Advocate is one that individuals can put in as much work as they like. Quite often, PCS Proud members aren’t aware of the things happening in their areas and don’t know that PCS Proud is there to support them.

Kris Hendry, Proud’s Learning Organiser has put together this presentation which will allow you to find out more about the role.

If you would like more information, please email Proud@pcs.org.uk

Access the Powerpoint Presentation by clicking the following link.

Advocates - https://pcsproud.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Advocates.pptx

TUC LGBT Conference vacancies

TUC LGBT DELEGATION VACANCIES – Invitation to Nominate

Dear PCS Proud Member,

PCS Proud members represent PCS at the TUC LGBT Conference each year. The conference is being held on 23rd and 24th June 2024 this year. PCS also has a stall at London Pride (25th June) and UK Black Pride (26th June). Due to last minute changes, we have two vacancies on the delegation.

The TUC LGBT conference involves a mixture of keynote speeches, election to the TUC LGBT Committee and the debating of motions. There is a delegation meeting prior to the conference to discuss motions etc. This is usually the day before conference begins.

This is a very good opportunity to participate in TUC union work and to observe other unions’ contribution to matters that particularly impact on LGBT people. We would welcome nominations from members from under-represented groups so that we can attempt to make the delegation as representative of our members as possible.

Delegates that represent PCS are expected to participate fully in the Conference by:

  1. taking part in delegation discussions
  2. observing and speaking on Congress debates regarding LGBT issues
  3. attending optional fringe meetings
  4. producing a short written report for PCS and Proud for publication.
  5. using the experience to advance LGBT equality further in the union and workplace.

If you would like to attend the conference, please complete the attached form and send it to Proud@pcs.org.uk by 25 May 2024.

The nomination form can be accessed here: TUC LGBT Conference EOI

Yours in solidarity


Dorion Griffiths

Chair, PCS Proud

 

Proud condemns abuse of National Museums Wales workers

NMWStrike

Members at the National Museum Wales have been in a dispute with the employer over attacks upon their weekend pay.

The stunning history of Wales is something that must be preserved and protected. Our members at the National Museum Wales, therefore, deserve to be treated with decency.

The head of National Museum Wales currently earns £100,000 but is asking members who earn the lowest salaries to accept a cut of £3000 and has threatened (on live TV) to sack them if they don’t sign new contracts.

Shavanah Taj, PCS Wales interviewed earlier this month -

“The majority of front-of-house staff are PCS members and are on low salaries. Until this month, several of them have been earning less than the Living Wage. They have not chosen to work in the Museum for the money but because they love the kind of work they do, conserving Wales’ historic treasures and cultural artefacts, and making them available to the public.

They would never have chosen to take industrial action but have been forced to do so, again and again, by management’s intransigence. Every time they strike, they lose money, but they are prepared to make that short-term sacrifice in order to secure justice in the longer term. Support for the action has remained very strong in recent weeks.

Anderson parades his progressive credentials in public – talking about bringing culture to the masses – but shows little sympathy for the wellbeing of his own staff. He blames PCS for the Museum’s financial crisis as a convenient scapegoat for his own lack of ideas and imagination. Even with a reduced budget, a management team worthy of the name would surely not rely exclusively on cutting the wage bill in order to balance their books….Anderson and the senior management team have brought the culture sector into disrepute by introducing industrial strife where there should be a shared commitment to delivering a high quality public service. He, and they, should consider their position.”

When people are on strike they lose pay. In order to maintain the strike therefore Museum workers urgently need donations for their hardship strike fund, donate here:
Bank: Unity Trust Bank
Account name: PCS Amgueddfa Cymru 107006 Branch Hardship Fund
Account number: 20364700
Sort code: 60-83-01
Or via PayPal: https://bit.ly/26eNhvq

You can also visit their picket line outside local Museums from Thursday onwards to show support.

STUC LGBT Conference 2024: Calling notice

STUC LGBT Conference 2024: Calling Notice

Each year, PCS Scotland select local delegates to attend the STUC LGBT Workers’ Conference.

For 2024 the Conference will be held in the Beardmore Hotel, Clydebank on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May.

2024 will mark the 5th annual LGBT Workers’ Conference with the event going from strength to strength each year, 2023 saw the event being nominated as ‘Event of the Year’ at the Equality Network’s inaugural awards.

Offering an excellent opportunity for reps to develop experience in debating motions in a relaxed, safe, environment, to take part in a number of workshops as well as to network and build friendships with LGBT members from across the Trade Union movement we are looking for member nominations to attend and represent PCS.

If anyone is interested in nominating themselves and/or others to attend, or would like more information about the Conference then please email regional reps Derek Bradford and Kris Hendry who will be happy to discuss.

In addition, if members wish to submit motions, or ideas for motions to be submitted to the STUC LGBT Workers’ Conference then, again, please email Derek and Kris.

All nominations and/or motions should be with Derek and Kris no later than Friday 22nd January for submission to PCS Scotland office by the required deadline.

Regards

Derek Bradford & Kris Hendry

Proud Scotland Regional Reps

 

 

 

World AIDS Day 2023

Every year, World AIDS Day is held on 1 December. The purpose of World AIDS day is to raise awareness, remember those we have lost and continue to fight stigma
 

PCS Proud’s National Committee encourage all members to talk about HIV and AIDS, to raise awareness in workplaces and ensure that our PCS branches and employers are aware of the importance of talking about issues that affect workers so that barriers can be broken down and stigma can become a thing of the past.

 

It is estimated that 103,700 people in the UK are living with HIV. A lot of people think that HIV is an issue only for gay men but 45% of those diagnosed with HIV in 2014 were not men who have sex with men.

 

There are a lot of myths around HIV and AIDS. The Terence Higgins Trust, a leading charity in this field, has provided the following facts:

 

• HIV and AIDS are not the same thing

• HIV is not a death sentence

• There is no cure for HIV

• HIV cannot be passed by kissing or touch

• HIV is not only an issue for gay men

• A woman with HIV can have children without HIV.

 

You can find out more information about these facts, and other statistics, by going to www.tht.org.uk.

 

Many public sector employers will have a policy on how to handle situations when people tell their employer that they have HIV/AIDS but a policy is not good enough unless it is acted upon with the member of staff at the very centre of any discussions or decision making that takes place.

 

On 1 December 2023, we encourage members to wear red ribbons where possible. The Terence Higgins Trust is asking people tweet pictures of themselves wearing red ribbons using the hashtag #StopStigma.

 

PCS has uploaded TUC guidance on HIV and AIDS on to the document library which can be accessed by logging in to www.pcs.org.uk. A PCS Proud factsheet is also attached to this briefing.

 

Receiving a diagnosis of HIV can be an extremely scary time for individuals and their families. Therefore, it is important that PCS as a union continues to fight for a sympathetic employer that supports its staff. It is also important that all PCS reps treat members with HIV/AIDS in the sensitive and supportive way that they deserve. If you, or someone you know, has an issue in the workplace because of HIV/AIDS and you would like advice or information, please do not hesitate to contact PCS Proud or your Group LGBT Advisory Committee who can provide you with some advice and information.

 

In 2014, PCS Proud launched our LGBT Charter which provides basic principles that we continually campaign for in the workplace, in society and beyond. You can access our charter at www.pcsproud.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIV/AIDS and Work
Introduction

Living with HIV/AIDS can be very challenging in many aspects. However, with the right support, the barriers that members face can be broken down.

This fact sheet is intended for branches and members who wish to gain understanding on how to support someone who has HIV or AIDS from a workplace perspective. The key thing is to remember that having HIV or AIDS does not make anyone less of a person. We encourage you to see the person, not the condition.

What are HIV and AIDS?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This weakens the body’s immune system and can progress to AIDS.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It means a collection of illnesses (‘syndrome’) caused by a virus people pick up (‘acquire’) that makes their immune system get weak (‘immune deficiency’).

You cannot get an AIDS diagnosis unless you are already HIV positive.

How is HIV spread?

A common belief is that HIV is only spread through sexual activity with someone who has HIV already. However, it can also be spread through the sharing of injecting equipment with someone who has HIV or even be passed from a HIV positive mother to their child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.

Some occupations (such as healthcare) carry a higher risk due to accidental exposure to infected blood. Known cases have almost always been due to an accident with a needle/syringe.

Are many people HIV positive?

There are more than 107,000 people (2013 estimate) living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the UK, mostly of working age, of whom a quarter are unaware of their status.

Although most who live with HIV in the UK have normal life expectancy and lead fulfilling working lives, a large minority of people are ignorant of the facts. This means people living with HIV can face prejudice and discrimination in the workplace.

 

HIV and AIDS in the workplace

There are some key things that need to be in place for people who disclose that they have HIV or AIDS

• Complete confidentiality must be assured by the employer and employees

• A guarantee that colleagues will not be discriminated against on the grounds of perceived or actual HIV status.

• Clear guidelines on how to manage staff with HIV or AIDS, including provisions in sickness policies and sickness reporting procedures.

• Training opportunities for all staff to learn about HIV and AIDS, regardless of whether or not any employees have the conditions.

Equality Legislation

Disability provisions contained within the Equality Act 2010 mean that people living with HIV are considered disabled regardless of health status. This is from the moment of diagnosis.

Disclosure

It is illegal for employers to ask questions about HIV status during recruitment until after a job offer has been made (with some exceptions such as the Armed Forces). Whilst members of staff do not have to disclose their HIV status, it is important to recognise that disclosure will have to be made if the member of staff requires reasonable adjustments etc… By way of good practice, an employer should have a policy on who needs to be informed about the HIV status of individuals.

Stigma

Social attitudes still need to change as many people with HIV still face many barriers. The Terence Higgins Trust (www.tht.org.uk) are asking people to stand and say #StopStigma this World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV and show support for those who have HIV or AIDS. It is also a day to remember those who have died from the condition.

Information and advice

Information and advice can be obtained from PCS Proud by contacting Proud@pcs.org.uk. A booklet called “Tackling HIV Discrimination at Work” is available from https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/tacklingHIVdiscriminationwork2.pdf

 

 

PCS Proud | www.pcsproud.org.uk | Proud@pcs.org.uk

 

TUC LGBT Conference 2024: Calling Notice

TUC LGBT 2014

PCS Proud members elect delegates to the TUC LGBT conference that typically takes place the two days prior to London Pride which is on 25 June 2024.

The number of delegates that represent PCS is defined by the NEC. For the 2023 conference, six delegates attended the conference. It is on this basis that PCS Proud are seeking nominations for six delegates.

We are inviting you to nominate yourself and/or others to this conference.

Nominations and election addresses should be sent electronically, to arrive no later than 10 October 2023. Please see the attached for details.

Please email PCS Proud Secretary secretary@pcsproud.org.uk if you have any questions.

Regards,

Ste Heyward, Proud Secretary

TUC demo: No to Austerity, Yes to Workers Rights.

PCS Proud is seeking to mobilise Proud members and take part in the TUC organised “No to Austerity, Yes to Workers Rights” march at the tory party conference on 4 October 2023.

If you are attending the demonstration and want to march with Proud then either keep an eye out for our banner in the PCS section of the march! You can also tweet us on @PCS_Proud. 

Steve Heyward, Proud Secretary, says “This march is incredibly important as workers rights are being eroded. We must raise our voices loud and clear and say “enough is enough””

More information about the demonstration can be found https://www.tuc.org.uk/about-tuc/no-austerity-4-oct-march-and-rally

The PCS news and events page can be found https://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/news_and_events.cfm

Ireland says YES

In a statement from PCS Proud, Secretary Ste Heyward said “The people of Ireland have spoken and want marriage equality for the LGBT community. Many campaigners were not necessarily members of the LGBT community but they know the importance of equality in society. I am extremely pleased with the result so far and congratulate each and every campaigner who spoke out with support for LGBT rights.”

LGBT Charter

Be sure to ask candidates to support our LGBT Charter when they ask for your vote during this general election.

The PCS Proud LGBT Charter calls for a basic set of principles that promotes equality in work, at home and in wider social policy.

The following text is suggested.

Dear <Candidate Name>

I am writing to you to ask that you support the PCS Proud LGBT Charter. PCS is, as you will probably know, the largest Civil Service union in the UK.

Members at the PCS Proud annual general meeting, called for a campaign to promote equality in the workplace, at home and in wider social policy.

I am asking you, as a candidate standing for election, to support the LGBT Charter and strive to ensure that the principles of equality, freedom and justice are upheld. Throughout the election campaign and in Government, if you’re elected.

To show your support I ask you to go to www.pcsproud.org.uk/charter and pledge your support.

Yours sincerely,

<Your Name>