19 July 2021

We couldn’t let Covid disrupt PCS democracy

The word unprecedented is used a lot at the moment, but it is certainly applicable to PCS this year.

For the first time we held an all-virtual ADC which I was proud to chair, utilising the latest technology, with staff and a specialist company all contributing to its success. HQ was converted into a media showroom and we were able to broadcast the conference to all members who wanted to watch, even if they were not delegates.

The NEC was determined that we would not allow the pandemic to continue to disrupt our democratic processes. Delegates from across all the nations and sectors of PCS were able to shape our priorities and policies for the next 12 months.

As you would expect, our members have once again been engaged in fighting for better terms and conditions, not least staying safe during Covid.

DVLA is a major dispute, and our general secretary has spoken about this inspirational dispute.

In DWP we have been making sure members are in a Covid secure environment as they return to jobcentres. Our recent indicative ballot showed a majority in favour of industrial action if they were forced to work in unsafe conditions.

HMRC members recently won a big pay rise following a huge upsurge in membership in that sector. And the group also negotiated two days a week working from home as part of a flexible working package.

At BEIS, our contracted-out facilities management staff have once again voted in huge numbers for strike action over pay and conditions, gaining well over the 50% turnout.

In justice, the union has been holding HMCTS management’s feet to the fire, recently accusing the government of conducting a “tick-box exercise” rather than taking a rigorous approach to health and safety.

And in Homes England we are opposing the scandal of ‘fire and rehire’ with members not ruling out taking industrial action.

PCS is at the forefront of campaigning for safer workplaces, and we are not afraid to take the action that is necessary for a just settlement wherever our members work.