Let’s use the national campaign to build members’ power
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary
As the summer draws to a close, we’re set to enter what is going to be a challenging autumn and winter. With Covid cases continuing to rise and our national campaign on pay and pensions ramping up, this is going to be a crucial period. Our members will face these challenges and others in the months ahead and that’s why we need our brilliant activists more than ever.
It’s clear that for the past 18 months, members’ concerns have rightly been focused on issues relating to health and safety and working conditions. While still ensuring members’ safety is a priority, one of our key aims now is to move the national campaign on pay and pensions onto the next phase. This will require an agile approach that allows us to adapt to what could be quickly changing circumstances.
The role you have to play in supporting members through these uncertain times will be essential.
Building activists’ knowledge
As we build on the national campaign, a critical feature will be organising. As well as achieving the just outcome on pay and pensions our members deserve, it’s vital that along the way we use the campaign to build our union and increase members’ power.
This is where you come in.
We’re encouraging our activists to use the campaign as a tool to recruit more members; identify members for activist and advocate roles and target possible areas for organising and campaigning where potential industrial action can have a significant impact.
Another important element of the campaign will be ensuring activists have the knowledge on the issues to confidently talk to members. This is particularly true of pensions, which is of huge interest to our members but is often seen as a complex issue that’s sometimes difficult to understand.
That’s why your involvement in briefings on pensions and other issues will be crucial.
Dedication at DVLA
This was one of the key themes of our pensions fringe meeting at the TUC conference. There was a clear determination from everyone at the meeting to work to increase participation among members. This includes attending local trades councils and making contact with reps from other unions as we look to start making contact on the ground, making common cause on this issue.
Away from the national campaign, I want to briefly mention our ongoing dispute with the DVLA. We’re now in the 23rd week of what has been one of the most important disputes we’ve had for years. The incredible hard work of our activists has ensured that the pressure on DVLA management and the government hasn’t let up.
We’re now discussing the next stage of the dispute with the branch and I want to thank the dedication of those involved, in what have been extremely difficult circumstances.
Whether fighting for members’ safety at their place of work or fighting to end the grotesque injustice of lowered living standards through appalling pay and a pensions robbery, our will to succeed is stronger than ever. With our committed activist base behind them, our members are confident that they’ll get the justice they deserve.