How to set up a local young members' network

Young workers account for 10% of our total membership yet only 1% are active in our union. Our network exists to give young workers a voice in the workplace and ensure we continue to have a healthy union that campaigns on the issues that matter to us all well into the future. Here’s how you can help.

1. Join us

If you haven’t already, sign up to the young members’ network. You can gain practical skills in organising and campaigning or simply receive updates on what’s happening in your area. Contact your local young member convenor for information on what’s involved in the initial steps in setting up a network

2. Get trained

Your regional office provides training on organising young workers. The ‘introduction to PCS’ is also a great course for newer people. Your regional office can provide you with details of upcoming training courses.

3. Where are we?

You need to know who you are targeting to determine issues affecting young members in your workplace. Your branch organiser can assist in obtaining a picture of how many young members there are and how to get in touch with them.

4. Planning the next steps

Once you know who and where you need to target, approach your branch executive committee for help with drafting, agreeing and implementing an action plan. This should include plans for recruitment, organising objectives, campaigning activity and identifying common issues amongst young members. The plan should be reviewed on a regular basis.

5. Recruiting others

Have you asked other young members if they’d like to get more active in the union? They can do this by distributing young members’ materials, help organise events and activity or volunteer to become a union representative. Everyone’s contribution, large or small, can make a difference and get the union noticed in the workplace.

6. Visibility

Being visible in the workplace means you are more likely to attract other young members towards the network, increasing our voice. Participating in learning at work days, branch meetings, recruitment stalls and social events will help strengthen the network and encourage others to participate.

7. Establishing the network

Once you have encouraged others to get involved, think about setting up a young members’ steering committee. A representative from each department/area will help determine the role of the network and help develop planning for future campaigning and organising initiatives.

8. Communication

Establishing clear lines of communication is important. You should aim to update contact lists on a regular basis and keep them informed with information relevant to young members. You should encourage others to comment or contribute to branch publications. You could aim to have young member specific newsletters or ensure regular young member updates are included in the future.

9. Keep in touch

Make sure you are in regular contact with your regional ym convenor who can update you on national campaigns, events and initiatives. Your regional convenor can also raise issues you may have with at region and/or national young member meetings. You can also share successes and barriers you’ve encountered with others in the network.

10. Be prepared for a challenge

There’s no guarantee you’ll be successful first time and you may encounter problems or set backs. Don’t let this put you off. The network is also a support mechanism for young members’ who want to get organised. Our network can provide invaluable support and assistance – all you have to do is ask.

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