22 February 2022

News from the NEC – February 2022

With the national consultative ballot now open, the NEC was given an update on this incredibly important campaign when it met last week.

This is the first opportunity we’ve had to test the mood across all public sector members since our national campaign back in 2019 and since then, members’ pay has continued to fall in real terms and they are still overpaying for their pensions. The worsening cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges members face when it comes to paying their bills and feeding their families.

That’s why the NEC was in total agreement on just how crucial this ballot is. A strong result with a high turnout and support for our national demands will massively strengthen our bargaining power.

There are 5 weeks left to run on the ballot, which closes on 21 March, and we’re asking as many members to vote and get involved with the campaign as possible.

Organising

The NEC also stressed the vital role of organising as we move through the national consultative ballot. During the pandemic, the important role unions play in uncertain times saw us increase membership and the current ballot is another opportunity for our union to recruit more members and strengthen participation.

We want members to talk to their colleagues about the upcoming ballot and use it as a tool to encourage them to join the union. Equally, getting people who are already members to get more involved is another key organising objective. We already have just under 3,000 registered PCS Advocates and we want to use the ballot period to grow this part of our membership.

The NEC reiterated the importance of the coming weeks as we look to utilise this ballot period to increase our membership and prepare ourselves for a possible statutory ballot later in the year.

Covid-19 update

With the lifting of all restrictions set to be announced imminently, the NEC was deeply concerned about the impact this would have across the civil service and related areas. PCS has been clear with the Cabinet Office throughout the pandemic that the world of work into which we emerge must be radically changed and improved for workers.

At the core of this is a commitment to hybrid working and we are currently engaged in discussions that will allow the maximum flexibility for the worker over how and where they do their job.

Despite these negotiations, it’s clear that the pandemic is not over. With this in mind, our key demand is that before anyone can return to the workplace they must have an individual risk assessment to assess all hazards they face but also to take a holistic view of their situation, which takes into account their domestic circumstances.

We will keep members posted on these demands and our ongoing discussions.