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WASPI PROTEST IN WESTMINSTER
WEDNESDAY THE 8TH MARCH
1PM OLD PALACE YARD - SW1P 3JY

NEWS
​​​WASPI NATIONAL DEMO
WASPI PROTEST IN WESTMINSTER

8TH MARCH 2017

We are planning to hold our next national demonstration in Westminster opposite the Houses of Parliament on Budget Day 8th March 2017.  Our demo coincides with International Women’s Day, which is very appropriate! Groups and individual supporters from all over the country will be most welcome to attend and we shall be inviting MPs to join us.
Let’s let everyone in Parliament know that WASPI women are not giving up!

SUPPORT FROM UNISON
 
Over the past months we've been working with Gloria Mills MBE, National Secretary Equalities, UNISON & President, European Trade Union Confederation Women’s Committee and this has culminated in us attending a most helpful and constructive meeting just before Christmas. We’re now delighted to let you all know that UNISON have pledged support for WASPI at national level. This is accompanied by a generous & considerable financial donation to go towards the campaign's running costs.
The WASPI Campaign is a major agenda item at the UNISON Women’s Conference in Brighton in February and we are invited as speakers on Friday 17th February. WASPI have also been invited to run a fringe meeting during the evening on Friday 17 February, from 5:35pm to 6:30pm.
 
UNISON have also made arrangements for us to have a stall in the main foyer area and for the whole of conference (From 1pm on Thursday 16th to 1pm on Saturday 18th February). WASPI supporters who are UNISON members may attend the conference as visitors and this can be arranged via their Branch or Regional Secretaries.  We look forward to seeing you there!
 
This truly is an amazing achievement and a fantastic example of women working in UNISON.
APPG Formation
WASPI TAKES ADVICE FROM LEADING QC

WASPI have had a constructive conference with their legal counsel and are now taking the next steps in their potential legal challenge whilst at the same time pursuing maladministration complaints to the DWP regarding the changes in state pension age for women born in the 1950s.

Advice was given by leading QCs John Turner and Gerry Facenna, supported by rising legal star Daisy Mackersie, instructed by Bindmans, on the next steps in their potential challenge.
WASPI Legal Director Susan Beevers commented: “We had a very helpful discussion with counsel and are pleased that we shall be taking the next steps in the legal process.  As I am sure our supporters will understand, I cannot provide further detailed information, as that information is legally privileged and it would be harmful to our case to reveal it at this stage.  We will, of course, provide further details as soon as we are able.”
 
Work is ongoing and it is not expected that there will be a further update on the potential judicial review challenge until late January at the earliest, although support for making the maladministration claims to the DWP should be issued earlier in the New Year.
APPG Formation
VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED
   
We have a great new team working really hard to push the campaign forward.  We now need to complement our team by recruiting additional volunteers to help us with important activity over the following months. 

To us, your time is priceless. Whether you can volunteer for a few hours every so often or a regular weekly shift, you’ll play a crucial part in keeping your Campaign progressing. Find out more here
WASPI NOT GOING AWAY!
    
The WASPI campaign gaining remarkable attention from the success of the local group demonstrations and events right across the country on Friday 16 September. There have been articles on radio, TV and in the papers in all regions.

Perhaps not surprisingly in the fact of this widespread support, Richard Harrington, the pensions minister, felt he needed to make a statement to the effect that the government was not diverting from its usual line of “no plans to revisit the arrangements”.
Sadly for him, it’s clear from the response on social media that this statement has only served to stiffen the resolve and determination of WASPI women to continue their fight for a fair resolution to the pensions debacle.

In fact, the government must now begin to see how isolated it is becoming on this issue.  Over 30 local and county councils have passed resolutions in support of WASPI, often with Conservative councillors voting in favour too.  Many Conservative MPs have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group and WASPI local groups continue to work hard to persuade other Tory MPs to support the campaign.
 
We recently saw the Scottish National Party launch a piece of research they had commissioned regarding the costs of making fair pension arrangements for 1950s women.  This was aimed only at putting right the failings of the 2011 Pensions Act, and thus fell short of the aim of the WASPI campaign, which is for a fair outcome for all women affected by both the 1995 and 2011 Acts.  However, it was a useful first step in showing the Government that, despite their statements to the contrary, money is available in the National Insurance Fund for 1950s women’s pensions and that they have been mistaken in their calculations as to how much various solutions could cost.
 
The number of local WASPI groups continues to grow and they are making a very positive difference to the impact and reach of the campaign.  Women out and about on the National Day of Local Action on the 16th September received thousands of signatures for a petition which was handed in to Parliament on the 11th October and they continue to raise awareness through a whole range of different local initiatives.
 
WASPI has chosen Bindmans to represent them in pursuing a legal challenge, funded via our  crowdjustice appeal. 


Building the new Strategy Group is nearly complete, and again, more information about the structure and format of the group will be with you in the near future.
 
Letters to to the DWP are continuing, with a view to making a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman once the DWP’s complaint procedure is exhausted.  Legal advice is being sought before the next letter in the series is sent, to ensure that all the bases are covered properly.
 
These are exciting times for the WASPI campaign.  WASPI is the only campaigning group which supports all 1950s women, whatever their date of birth.  Perhaps because of this, the number of our supporters is growing every week and we now have just short of over 47,000 people following the Facebook page: far more than any other group.