Further advice on setting up members' meeting to discuss the move to extended services in job centres.
Holding a members' meeting to talk about issues of concern to PCS members is key part of being a well organised union. A meeting is the way unions discuss policy and gather members' views.
Keep it safe
Make sure the meeting is safe. Find a space in the office, or car park or the fire muster point where members can gather and still maintain safe social distance. If there is nowhere to do so, you could organise a meeting electronically.
Gather members' views
Use the meeting to explain why PCS is opposed to the extension of Jobcentre services. Tell members that the risk assessment is not agreed. Explain that the cabinet office and the DWP have said they will only use volunteers. Tell members they do not have to volunteer if they have safety concerns. Tell members they have the full support of the national union. Most importantly use the meeting to gather member’s views and concerns.
Tell management what your members want
When you have had a meeting and got your members' views that will put you in a much stronger position to go to talk to local management and press for a safe workplace or the office not to open.
You must not use a members meeting to organise a walkout or to encourage members to withdraw their labour
Lawful industrial action can only be taken after a statutory ballot. You can be passionate, but if you encourage members to walkout without a ballot they lose their legal protection from detriment or dismissal. If members have genuine concerns regarding their safety and feel in danger they can use the protections afforded them by legislation and the union will support them in exercising such rights.