PCS in the north west

PCS in the North WestThe PCS north west regional centre covers the 40,000 PCS members who live and work in the north west, spread over 80 regional branches and 10 national branches.

On the North West pages you'll find information on:

Office and facilities

  • PCS, 3rd Floor, Jack Jones House, 1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG.
  • tel: 0151 298 3900
  • fax: 0151 298 9636
  • nwrc@pcs.org.uk

The regional office has meeting and conference facilities available to members and allied organisations.

  • The Robert Tressell Room is equipped with video conference facilities and can comfortably accommodate 60 people (theatre style)
  • The Lillian Urmston Room has telephone conference facilities and is suitable for meetings of up to 14 people (boardroom style).

Advanced booking is essential by telephone on 0151 298 3900. All facilities are accessible. A cafeteria is open on the ground floor of the building between 9.30 am and 2.30 pm.

PCS NW regional office staffing and functions

All of the administration for HM Revenue and Customs group and the Culture sector has now moved to the north west. Bargaining Unit Assistants are to be recruited to increase the size of that team to five. The admin team will continue to be managed by Marie Morgan, along with Laura Lloyd; both reporting to Paula Wood who is the NW regional secretary.

Three HMRC group FTOs become part of the NW staffing team as follows:

The HMRC FTOs are managed by national officer, Dave Cliff who is also based in the regional office.  The remaining FTOs on the HMRC and Culture teams will be based at PCS offices around the UK.

Also based in the office, but not formally part of the north west team, are the following colleagues:

Direct Debit - Make the switch today

We have advised our branches about Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude's orders for departments to remove the ability for members to pay for their union membership through payroll.

The "Check Off" facility, as it is known, is a long established and efficient method of collecting subscriptions and the threat to remove it leads us to the inevitable conclusion that this is a politically motivated attack designed to undermine industrial relations and the union's ability to defend members.

PCS are therefore in the process of moving all members over to a Direct Debit method of monthly payment. This will require you to provide PCS with some banking details.

More information can be found on our dedicated pages 

We are continuing to work with the TUC and broad spectrum of politicians opposed to this move but it is imperative that we have a contingency in the event that extremists in the Conservative Party can force the changes through.

Don't let Maude win, make the switch today

View a short video from general secretary, Mark Serwotka on the threat to Check Off on our Youtube channel. Members will need to login to the PCS website to view this and are advised not to view it at work. 

PCS general secretary addresses reps in the northwest

On Thursday 5 February 2015, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka addressed a packed meeting of key PCS representatives in the northwest.

The meeting, which took place in Liverpool’s Jack Jones House, was chaired by Martin Cavanagh, PCS northwest regional committee chair; and also speaking was Lawrence Dunne, NEC member and a longstanding key northwest activist.

Direct Debit

After a welcoming introduction from the chair, the meeting opened with Lawrence Dunne updating the meeting on the current position with regards to the campaign to move members from check-off to Direct Debit (DD). Lawrence advised the meeting that the northwest region is ‘second in the league table’ when it comes to persuading members to switch to DD; but that much more still needs to be done.

He highlighted a number of branches that had been particularly successful in their membership campaign, but warned reps that with a significant number of branch committee members still not having switched the way they pay their subscriptions, more effort was needed.

Finance and elections

Mark provided the meeting with a detailed background to the current threats to the Union, brought about by cuts in PCS funding because of the cuts in the number of civil servants, and cuts in funding brought about by the actual and predicted removal of check-off from departments like the Home Office, DWP and HMRC.

The general secretary also reminded reps about other threats facing PCS, including the leaked HMRC strategy memo about marginalising the union; the creation of management-friendly organisations like the RCTU, and the fact that PCS have had to make a formal complaint to the TUC about UNISON attempting to recruit some PCS grades.

The general secretary went on to explain that the need to meet the financial problems caused by these attacks was behind the one-year suspension of national and group elections. He added that members will still have the opportunity to discuss the decision in detail and vote on the matter at our national conference this May. Mark went to great lengths to remind reps that the current financial position will not prevent the union from fully supporting campaigns and members in dispute.

There was then a lengthy session where the general secretary took a number of questions - particularly regarding finance and the elections.


The meeting was closed by the regional chair, who offered his full support for the national executive committee’s decision. Although the suspension of elections has not been without controversy, the meeting remained cordial throughout; and the general secretary concluded that he looked forward to having the debate in greater detail at the coming conference.

Photographs of the event can be found at the PCS northwest flickr page.

Performance management – A view from the top

Many PCS representatives will be engaged in grievances or appeals on behalf of members falling foul of the civil service performance management arrangements. As part of the failing civil service reform plan, line managers are being put under pressure to award 15% of their staff a “must improve” marking.

This subjective and quite arbitrary target is a manifestation of “relative assessment” or “guided distribution” techniques which are becoming increasingly discredited in the private sector.

In a response to widespread criticism of the new regime, Head of the Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake used a recent Blog to persuade staff of its virtues.Amongst the usual platitudes were a few points which might prove useful to bring up in meetings seeking to challenge awards including:

  • “When it comes to distribution ratings, no individual’s performance rating should simply change to meet the guided distribution total and if there is any evidence of this, colleagues should raise this within their department
  • “A really important point is that these ratings are guided and not forced”
  • “It is the responsibility of all line managers to deliver the final rating at year end and there is a requirement to explain differentiation of performance”
  • “A Must Improve, performance rating is designed to identify those members of staff whose performance needs to improve and to provide the tools that enable this to happen. It’s certainly not just about dismissal”

While it is natural to be sceptical about the value of these views at the sharp end, it will be an interesting exercise to gauge to what extent local managers are prepared to act contrary to the principles of the senior civil servant responsible for the whole reform project.

For managers themselves, Sir Bob's comments should reinforce the ability to apply a professional discretion throughout the process. On this point, the comments section at the foot of the blog make interesting reading.

It's never been easier to join PCS

It is now easier and more important than ever to join the biggest union for those working in the civil service, non-departmental public bodies and in the commercial sector on government contracts.If you have your payroll and national insurance numbers to hand you can Join PCS online in a few minutes.The contact details of your local PCS representatives are available on request from this office.

Join the fight back against austerity. Join PCS. 

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