30 November 2021

Develop fresh activism with new national forum

PCS will soon be trialling a new forum for activists to encourage discussion of the union's strategies, and more involvement in the union’s activities, especially from newer activists and members from under-represented groups.

The first forum will focus on the national campaign and provide training, discussion and sharing of best practice.

The idea came from a motion (A9) passed at our national conference in 2021, which includes an instruction to “review ways of raising membership participation in the democratic life of the union including establishing a new National Activists’ Forum, with virtual meetings to be held regularly during the year”.  

Options for establishing the forum are being considered by the union’s Organising & Education Committee (OEC), which will make recommendations to the NEC. These discussions include its focus, aims and format.

The OEC has already made it clear that the forum meetings should try to avoid becoming ‘talking shops’ or replicating already established committees or conferences. It will consider the scope for it being activist-led while still being accountable to the NEC and the policies agreed at conference.

Open and inclusive

In a recent update, the OEC said all branches will be expected to send both experienced and newer activists to the forum, particularly those from under-represented groups, and meetings should be as open and inclusive as possible. Participants will be expected to report back to their branches.

Branches should actively encourage members who are on the cusp of activism and newer activists to attend, and proactively encourage attendance amongst women, younger members and those in protected characteristic groups. Members who are not current position holders should be encouraged to attend but would need to be signed up as PCS Advocates before the event.

The forum should act as an opportunity to support the union's democracy and widen participation in union activity with a focus on training and development and the sharing of practical campaigning and organising skills, and techniques to deliver a successful campaign in workplaces.

The detailed format of the first forum will be agreed by the OEC, but is likely to take place on a Saturday and consist of separate modules run throughout the day.

All forum meetings will be followed up with a focused activists’ bulletin which will detail agreed action points and suggestions for immediate activity.

Look out for more details being publicised soon.

PCS: Get involved