TUC Women's Conference took place from 11-13 March this year at Congress House in London. The theme was "Equality, not poverty – use your vote". Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary, chaired the conference.
The conference was addressed on the first day by Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary and Harriet Harman QC MP, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister. Harriet Harman spoke about the important job that women in the TUC do standing up for other working women and despite the progress made there is still inequality and poverty in this country. The reality is that for women, who is in Number 10 following the Election will make a massive difference and delegates were told that Labour has "a radical and realistic programme which will abolish the bedroom tax, rescue the NHS, increase the minimum wage and give further support for childcare".
On the second day conference heard from TUC President, Leslie Manasseh MBE and there was a panel discussion with Polly Neate, CEO Women's Aid; Helen Barnard, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Clare Welton, Fuel Poverty Action and Sally Brett, Senior Policy Officer at TUC. The session was chaired by Tracey Barlow from TUC Women's Committee. Chidi King, Director of Equality at ITUC (International Trade Union Congress) spoke on the last day.
Vicky Knight was re-elected to TUC Women's Committee with the highest number of votes alongside Sam Rye from FBU (192 votes). UCU sent a full delegation and submitted two motions which were both carried. Our motions were on "Women workers and casualization/zero hours contracts", spoken to by Christina Paine and "Challenging the politics of inequality and racism", spoken to by Sue Abbott. Motion 11 on the gender pensions gap by Prospect was chosen to be put forward at TUC Congress in September. As always the UCU delegation was very active in speaking to a wide range of motions.