Focus on membership

This month we focus on getting the most from your PCS membership, including looking at how you can get help, ways of getting more active in your union and the many benefits of being a member.

How you can access support from PCS

If you have an issue at work the first person to contact is your rep. You can find their details by registering for and logging into PCS Digital.

If you haven’t registered for PCS Digital all you need to do on the online form is enter your surname, your first name and then your PCS membership number, which has 7 digits and starts with a P (you'll find it on any emails you've had from us). You then enter your personal email address and click on the sign-up button. You will then receive an email from us with instructions on how to set up your password.

Contacting your rep

If you’ve never been in a union before or haven’t previously tried to contact your rep, it can seem unfamiliar. So, here’s a simple example of what you might say to your rep if you need their help. Be sure to include all the necessary information.

“Hi,

I’ve got an issue at work and would appreciate some guidance and support.

Include your PCS membership number and workplace: My PCS membership number is P1234567 and I work for the DWP at Caxton House in London.

Give a brief outline of what happened: I was off sick for two days, but my boss wants to take it out of my annual leave entitlement.

Include any key dates and deadlines that might be relevant: I’ve been called into a meeting with HR and my line manager at 12.30pm on 9 December.

Summarise what you want and how you can be reached: I’d like to speak to a union rep as soon as possible. Please feel free to reply to this email or call me on 07000 700 700.”

How my rep helped me

PCS member Melanie explains how her rep helped her: “Suffering with mental health issues can make you suffer low self-esteem, and at this time I felt like a was a huge burden on the department. I felt like my name was being recognised by senior leaders for all the wrong reasons. Steven (my rep) helped me overcome that, by pointing out I had worked within the civil service for 18 years prior without any issues, so this was clearly not the case. That one small sentence from him, made a massive difference to how I viewed myself and the situation.

Read more about Melanie’s experience. 

Sign up for PCS Digital

Register with PCS Digital today and familiarise yourself with the online system. It might be good to send a quick email to your local rep and say hello and that you’ve joined the union. Always update you online records on PCS Digital if you move house, move workplace, or change email address.

Watch our short video to help get you started with PCS Digital

Response team

Our central response team can help you with:

  • Covid questions and advice
  • Finding your local rep for problems at work or health and safety concerns (you can also find reps on PCS Digital)
  • Ballot queries and requests for replacement ballot papers
  • Support for group conferences and elections.

Occasionally, it may be that there isn’t a local rep in your workplace. If this is the case, don’t worry, all you need to do is email the PCS Response Team:  responseteam@pcs.org.uk and tell them you don’t have a local rep but that you need representation. Or call 020 7801 2670.

Please remember to tell us your PCS membership number.

You can also now access rapid answers and support in one place online through PCS Knowledge, which you can access through PCS Digital.

If you have suffered a personal injury, you can register a claim by calling 0800 328 3255. We then verify and pass your details on to the appropriate legal firm.

PCS Support Centre

Our membership team can help you to make changes to your personal records, including:

  • Personal details such as address, phone numbers and email
  • Work information, such as employer, workplace and branch
  • Your death-in-service benefit nominee. After being a PCS member for six months you are eligible for a death in-service benefit of £1,773.60.
  • Payment information
  • Replacement membership cards.

Email membership@pcs.org.uk or you can also update these details yourself on PCS Digital.

Did you know?

If you go on maternity leave PCS can place a waiver on your membership fees.

Getting involved – training and skills

As our union is only as strong as our members and, more importantly, our engaged members, becoming a PCS Advocate would be a first step in helping to building PCS in your workplace and gaining even more back yourself. An advocate is someone who wants to help promote PCS and our campaigns with their colleagues, whether that’s on a local or national issue. Advocates take on small tasks like:

  • Gathering petition signatures
  • Distributing leaflets
  • Asking friends to join PCS,
  • Or even just pointing people in the right direction if they need help

All this makes a significant difference. Crucially though, it also gives the opportunity to attend dedicated Advocate training, which builds on your communication skills, confidence and makes you an important voice in your workplace.

For members who are willing to take on further responsibility, the PCS representative role is another opportunity to increase your training options and personal skills. Dedicated sessions around representing members, negotiating with employers, and understanding employment law will all be provided to anyone becoming a rep. As well as ensuring that union branches can carry out their day-to-day role, the skills required to be a PCS Rep will open up further career opportunities and provides a genuine sense of reward in working together with other reps to be the voice of staff in your workplace.

If you are interested in becoming an advocate or rep email organising@pcs.org.uk

Learning and education

For a range of learning opportunities for PCS members see our events section or email learningacademy@pcs.org.uk

We also offer a wide variety of trade union education courses for those who want to get more actively involved in PCS. From introductory sessions for union advocates, to full workplace rep, health and safety rep training programmes, and a full range of equality topics, PCS Academy offers everything members need to build their union knowledge and confidence. You can find out which courses are running in your area by checking out your courses and events tab in PCS Digital.

Look at our course programme for winter 2022.

A range of benefits

As well as supporting members at work across the civil service and related areas, we offer a membership benefit service. 

After being a PCS member for six months you are eligible for a death in-service benefit of £1,773.60. You can nominate one or more beneficiaries by logging into your membership account.

PCS Plus gives you access to a wide range of benefits, fantastic savings and things to do in your spare time.

There is also a free will service. If you are based in Scotland, contact Thompsons Solicitors by phoning 0141 473 4754, or in Northern Ireland, you can apply by completing the PDF form

We have a benevolent fund with awards of up to £500 available to those in acute financial difficulty. It cannot be used for the following:   

  • Personal debt (credit cards, loans, etc)
  • Medical fees
  • Education and legal costs
  • Strike action.

Log into PCS Digital to find out how to apply.

You can also access the PCS Credit Union.

We have negotiated a health cash plan with BHSF where you pay a monthly premium and can then claim cash back on dental, optical and therapy treatments. Visit their website for more details. You can also register with Vision Express for a free eye test and other discounts. 

For more information, visit our member benefits page or email benefits@pcs.org.uk

Work in the civil service or on a public contract in the private sector? Join PCS online today.