UNISON stands solidly with WASPI campaign, says General Secretary

Christina McAnea, UNISON General Secretary, has re-affirmed that UNISON stands solidly with WASPI campaign and the extraordinary women fighting against the unfair treatment of women born in the 1950s.

Her pledge comes at the same time as Josie Irwin, UNISON National Women’s Officer, assured WASPI campaigners t that the pension inequities suffered by 1950’s women remain a priority for the National Women’s Committee.

National Women’s Committee is currently talking with WASPI groups nationally about ways in which we can jointly raise the profile of their campaign.

Christina McAnea’s Full Statement

Christina McAnea, UNISON General Secretary, said: “As the UK’s largest trade union with over one million women members UNISON has a proud record of campaigning with WASPI for compensation for 1950s women who now face hardship and poverty because of the Government’s increase in their state pension age without adequate notice. UNISON was the first trade union to affiliate to the official WASPI Campaign Ltd.

UNISON stands solidly with the extraordinary women fighting against the unfair treatment of women born in the 1950s. An increase to state pension age which was introduced too fast and with too little notice to make the necessary life changes. Thousands of women will not receive their state pension on the date they planned for, and will have to work longer than expected or could face financial hardship in retirement.

Following the failure of the recent judicial review and the subsequent report of the Parliamentary Ombudsman that ‘the Department of Work and Pensions failed to provide accurate, adequate and timely information about changes to the State Pension age for women’ in June 2021, UNISON is:

• Keeping members informed about these developments via the pensions and women’s web pages.
• Monitoring action by the Ombudsman to examine the impact of the DWP’s failure
• Liaising with the WASPI organisations and Backto60, as many of our members belong to these groups.
• Campaigning for fair compensation recognising that for many women the impact of late communication of increasing the state pension age has been devastating.

UNISON is committed to trying to improve the pension rights of all women.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has suspended the triple lock formula for increases in state pensions for 1 year. This action will push even more women, who have lower pensions because many work in low-paid jobs, into pension poverty. UNISON is calling for the restoration and maintenance of the triple lock.

More and more low paid women members are in defined contribution pension schemes, for example, cleaners, care workers, school meals workers. DC arrangements compound low pay and lead to pensions poverty. Abolishing the triple lock will push this group further into poverty. UNISON is committed to exposing how defined contribution arrangements relate to pension poverty.”