Members are under attack – let’s arm them with the facts
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary
As PCS members up and down the country face a difficult winter and a worsening cost-of-living crisis, the role you will play as activists in righting this wrong will be crucial. So as we step up our national campaign, we will need your hard work and dedication to get as many members engaged as possible.
It’s been an incredibly challenging time for PCS members and, after 11 years of pay cuts, the picture for the months ahead remains a difficult one, with inflation continuing to rise, National Insurance contributions going up, members still overpaying for their pensions and a cruel cut to Universal Credit.
Our members have faced a relentless attack on their standard of living and despite the government’s promise to end the public sector pay freeze, there is little to no detail on whether the pay rise will be above inflation or where the money is coming from to fund them.
Given the government’s track record, we should expect to be disappointed.
That’s why it’s vital we put in the work to build the national campaign as we prepare ourselves for the fight ahead.
Understanding pensions robbery
A key element of the campaign will be to ensure members are armed with the facts so they can understand the full picture of how they’re being so badly let down by this government.
One of the tools we’ve developed is our pensions robbery calculator. It will allow members to see in stark terms the impact the pensions overpayment is having on their pay packets each month. The calculator went live this month and we’re asking activists to share it and encourage members to use it.
We’ll also be hosting a national pensions seminar at the beginning of December, for members and reps who want to understand the pensions issue in more detail. We want to keep up the pressure in parliament too, so we want as many people as possible to use our e-action to email their MP about the great pensions robbery.
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.
It’s so important that we recruit more members and get people more involved in PCS. Not only will this strengthen the union but this preparatory work will be crucial as we build towards a possible ballot, which we haven’t ruled out should our pressure and legal challenges fail.
Our members face a challenging winter but I’ve no doubt that your commitment to them and our union will stand us in good stead as we take the fight against this cruel government into 2022 and beyond.