President's column

Despite achieving an unprecedented result in PCS's recent national ballot over pay, anti-trade union laws mean that we are prevented from taking national action as we did not achieve the threshold of over 50% of members posting their ballot paper. We need to reinforce the message that members can ONLY vote postally. In any statutory ballot, there is no electronic vote and the only way of voting is by post – read more in this edition.

In DWP, PCS is nearing the end of our branch pay consultation where we have been sending speakers into every office, consulting members over whether they agree that all three DWP pay offers are unacceptable. Whether members opted into the Employee Deal or not, it is quite clear that DWP have misjudged the anger that our members feel over continued pay restraint.

DWP had a choice about going back to Treasury to ask for more money, they had a choice about whether to properly review Employee Deal in light of a significant rise in inflation and DWP had a choice about how they distributed an underspend in the non-consolidated pot. In all three choices, the DWP Group Executive Committee unanimously agreed DWP's offers were unacceptable and have been consulting PCS members about whether they agree with us. This consultation will strengthen PCS's position in negotiations over 2019 pay.

The best way of achieving a better deal on pay, terms and conditions is by ensuring PCS is as strong as possible in every workplace and that all non-members are asked to join us, so that when PCS goes into those negotiations, we have the full weight of PCS members behind us, so, if you work with colleagues who are not yet PCS members, explain the importance of joining us in order to mount the most powerful campaign over pay in 2019.

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