14 March 2022

Getting the vote out

Branch organiser Angie Patullo blogs about how her branch is getting members involved in PCS's campaign and encouraging them to vote in the consultative ballot.

Prior to the ballot, we held members’ meetings on the pay and pensions issues, where members were able to share their views on the cost-of-living crisis. This brought to light the stark reality of what real terms cuts in pay mean for our colleagues. 

Our members told us:

“We barely manage to the end of the month - having to rely on other members of the family to subsidise the family income because the wage I'm on doesn’t stretch far enough."

“Approaching the energy hike as it is now - we need to make a choice between eating and heating.”

“A career I’ve known most of my working life - I need to consider giving it up because I no longer earn enough to live on. I need to consider other career options later on in life because I simply can’t live on the wage I receive."

As a branch, we've made sure we are using every opportunity we can to speak to our members about the cost-of-living crisis, what the PCS demands are, and how we can win if we stand together and vote in the ballot. 

Since the ballot has started, our branch has been engaging with members on the pay and pensions ballot and encouraging members to vote in lots of different ways. We've been utilising social media platforms like Facebook to keep members informed about the campaign and to ask them if they have voted, as well as talking to members face to face wherever we can.

Every rep and activists has been involved in contacting members, asking them if they have voted, and using the National Ballot tab on PCS Digital to log those conversations. The branch distributed a list of members to every rep, and we have a weekly catch-up meeting to discuss how things are going and to make sure we’re on target to smash the 50% threshold. 

We've also been getting involved in using CallHub to call members in DWP - it's a really easy system to use and is a really important tool to make sure members know how to vote, or how to request a replacement ballot paper if they need one. We've had a really positive response from members when we've called, so don't be nervous about getting involved in phone banking! 

At the time of writing, Dundee Pensions Centre has a turnout of 56.2%. We’ve smashed the 50% threshold but still have more to do. We are going to continue to talk to every member who hasn't voted and encourage them to have their say. 

We deserve better pay for the work we have carried out before and during the pandemic. That’s why casting your vote is so important. We need to send a strong, united message, and use our leverage to tell Ministers that we have had enough of pay caps and freezes.