We have significant challenges ahead there will be a pay campaign and industrial action ballot to build for across the summer and into the autumn, we must fight off all job cuts and closures. We must also fight for more pay and tackle the cost-of-living crisis as a Union and a group.
As a union we will do all the standard things associated with campaigning and organising, pay meetings, ensuring details are up to date, that members are placed in the correct workplaces. This is a great chance to engage with and speak to our members and gain new members too, as well as reps and advocates; this is a task we can throw ourselves into with vigour, as this is the only way we will win for members.
We can only do this by:
- Talking to the members, identifying issues
- Being highly visible in our presence in the workplace
- Holding meetings online for the moment to discuss the required action
- Carrying out the action and reviewing it
- Recruiting members to action, visibility, winning and then starting again.
- Asking potential members to join PCS.
To do this there have been several attempts over the last four years to encourage branches to produce their own plans for organising. Few achieved this, the GEC voted to impose a central plan on branches so that they did not have to produce one themselves and are under no illusion what the way forward is. This plan has been submitted to the organising department and to the National President, they know it exists and that all our branches must do is follow it. There is an expectation and accountability on the branches in this process.
We will only change the situation by committed action with a clear plan, and that plan has been issued to branches. The plan is to build membership from a position of strength where we already have a good organising base; and to build that base where we don’t, full time organisers are available to assist you; use us, you are paying for the knowledge and experience, you must access the resource you are paying for.
The prime focus of the group must be on recruitment, to increase our numbers, strengthen our position in negotiations, there will be less work for reps if we recruit more reps and advocates, and line up with the national campaign from the NEC. Whatever the outcomes it is always the duty of all trade unionists to recruit new members to the correct trade union.
All DSg members must be part of reinvigorating all our branches however big or small in constant improvement cycle, we know what we can do better, and we must do it.
This challenge will continue to be at the heart of our organising agenda and our ability to win for our members and potential members. We do this via clear plans, and we implement them, we meet as a local committee, we call effective meetings to feed back to members what is being done and to find out what needs doing, this is what needs doing and doing now.
My thanks to the outgoing GEC, many of whom have served right through the pandemic, thanks to the group officers Chris Rob Robin and Richard. Thanks to all the lay reps who represent PCS in the TLBs and other areas. Lastly thanks to all of you for attending conference, especially if it is your first time and for all the work that you do and will do in your branches. Tell your colleagues in the workplace what it is all about and encourage as greater attendance next year. This is your conference it is where you set the bargaining agenda for the next year it is essential that we get as many involved as possible, use the facilities available to you and remember help and advice is waiting when you need it.