‘Welcome to PCS’ course is paving way to union activity

Anyone interested in finding out more about being more involved in the union should be encouraged to go on our new ‘Welcome to PCS’ course.

The one-day training session is proving to be very popular with members as a first ‘toe in the water’ of union activity, where they can learn more about the part trade unions play in society and the role of a PCS rep at work.

It will be held three times a year in most regions and nations, and is open to any member of the union. Initial courses in London, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle and Glasgow, in May, were all fully subscribed.

In most cases, the members have expressed interest in becoming PCS Advocates or reps, and more than half have already gone on to do further training.

Welcome to PCS course ‘inspired me to learn more’
“I have supported PCS by voting in branch elections and was mildly interested in becoming more involved. I feel I have something to contribute to raising the profile of the union locally.” – Nick Sumner, PCS Preston Central

‘I went on to do the Workplace Reps training’
“Following on from the Welcome to PCS session I managed to recruit two other prospective reps to attend it. The sessions were so beneficial and enjoyable, with a lot of group activity and discussion.” - Ross Seymour, PCS Benton Park View

The idea behind this and other initiatives is to “remove as many barriers to participation as possible”, said PCS Education Officer Keith Johnston. Many people want to find out more about unions before they ‘take the plunge’ and sign up for full union rep training, he added.

“This course gives members the opportunity to dip their toes in the water. We also think it will be a big step in expanding our base of active PCS members,” he said.

It’s acknowledged that PCS needs to take specific action to address under-representation issues, and attendance figures for this course show there’s a higher take-up of women, BME and young members.

And more than half of all attendees have so far signed up for the new PCS six-day Workplace Reps course in their region.

Welcome to PCS addresses the core questions that newer members often have about getting involved, including:
What is a trade union?
What have unions achieved?
What does a rep do?
How do unions tackle workplace issues?
How do we organise?
How do we talk to colleagues about the union?


  • Sign up for the course and/or talk to colleagues who are interested in finding out more about PCS, and encourage them to go along.
  • Follow up – ask them how it went and what steps they’d like to take next to get more involved.
  • Contact your regional hub for details of the next available course
  • You can also check the listings


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