30 November 2021

PCS young members rejuvenated – can you get involved?

There’s a renewed energy for encouraging PCS young members to get involved, be active, and help shape the present and future of the union.

As we mark the TUC’s annual Young Workers Month in November, there’s a renewed energy for encouraging PCS young members to get involved, be active, and help shape the present and future of the union. 

After a difficult 18 months for being able to meet and support each other face-to-face, PCS young members have been re-invigorating the union’s networks. New officers have been elected to the National Young Members’ Committee (NYMC) and members are looking ahead to upcoming elections for the 10 regional convenors who support it, in early December (see below). 

Read on for some updates, get involved and urge your colleagues to get active in PCS!

  • ‘I’m passionate about what I do as a rep’ – meet the new NYMC chair, Emma-Lee Anthoney

“I would like to introduce myself as your new chair for the NYMC. My day job is a work coach in a job centre in Nottinghamshire. I work term-time and part-time to balance my life as a wife since 2019, and young mum to my growing boys, aged one and seven. 

I decided to stand for chair after a conversation with [PCS national president] Fran Heathcote. I didn’t think I would be able to pick up this role due to my time constraints, but with the support from the union they have made it possible. It means a lot to me that I am not just a mum, or not just a work coach, but I can excel in what I am passionate about – and that’s making the work place a better environment to work in. 

In my union branch I work alongside our equalities rep closely as that fits in nicely with young members and the issues we face in joining government departments. 

It’s been an extremely difficult 18 months or so for most, but taking on FTA employment, especially for our young members who want to save for a house or want job security, makes me want to fight for those jobs to become permanent. All the time and money spent training FTAs up and then having to let them go appals me. 

I am fairly new to the civil service, having started in 2017. On day one I was signed up to the union and became a rep as soon as possible. I know how hard it is on this wage trying to save for a deposit for a house, trying to afford childcare and getting better rights for young members. 

I look forward to learning more about the wider civil service, what I can do to help and to meet new people. I am passionate about what I do as a rep so I can’t wait to put these passions into practice on this committee.”

  • The impact of low public sector pay on PCS young members

Corey Davies blogs about the impact of low pay and the worrying trend of young people seeing work in the public sector and union membership as a temporary step before they leave for greener pastures. 

Only by “working collectively to improve working conditions and fight for fair pay” can we keep young people in the sector, he says.

“I don’t believe young people will ever stop being part of the public sector, but this [idea that entrepreneurship is the only way to achieve a better work-life balance]

is going to create a rotten foundation where young people cycle into the entry roles while already planning to leave, slowly starving the sector of necessary experience.”

Read Corey’s full blog here

  • ‘We’re back’: Abe Allen looks forward to empowering more young members 

Abe Allen is currently the London and South East regional convenor for the NYMC, as well as being a workplace rep and officer in the Defence Sector Group South Central branch. He helped organise the ‘Empower’ seminar, which was held in October as part of the rebuilding of the union’s national young members’ network.

He’ll be keen to stand as a regional convenor again but is equally happy to step back into a deputy role, in order to give others a chance to learn, he says. This is something he has done in his branch, too, as a way to encourage others to step up into PCS roles.

It’s not been an easy time to organise young members in particular, he says, but there is now a renewed energy to get involved and motivate others to do the same.

“Things have been stop-start because of Covid. As young members we do tend to attract more engagement when we do face-to-face activities. In the past we have done things like movie nights, socials, quizzes and workshops in my region.

“As soon as it’s safe again we will do more of that, and I’m really looking forward to getting out and about and doing more. 

“In the meantime. we can all get involved and do what we can virtually. I’m looking forward to planning our next young members’ seminar – I would love to see us go all out with that. 

“And for the PCS conference in 2022 we’ll be bold and brilliant and back for the young members, especially with our social on the Wednesday night!”.

 

Elections are being held in all regions for new young members’ convenors. Contact Claire Morris – clairem@pcs.org.uk for more details of your meeting or to find out more about becoming a convenor or becoming more involved in PCS. 

Find out more:

PCS Young Members 

PCS: Get Involved 

Young Workers Month