17 March 2022

President’s column

The world has changed since our last edition.

We have a war on the European continent, following the invasion of Ukraine; the cost of everyday living is skyrocketing as inflation roars away and the ever-present spectre of Covid-19 continues to impact families and communities, despite all restrictions having now been lifted by the UK government.

Being in defence we have a particular exposure to the events in Ukraine, although many may also have friends and families caught up in the horrific events unfolding daily. Members can access support for issues arising from this either from their employer, through their employee assistance programme, or via our union through PCS Plus.

We are also talking to government, individual departments and other employers about the impact of inflation and the wider cost of living on members’ lives. Within MOD we are currently discussing the potential for a long-term pay deal and we are pressing for any potential pay offer to fully compensate staff for the impact of inflation.

And the union is balloting members on our national strategy for pay and pensions, to gauge support for further action to persuade the government to address our concerns.

Again, our union can offer support to members who are struggling with debt through the PCS Benevolent Fund.

Although the government has removed the legal requirement for Covid ‘restrictions’, the advice remains that employers should use risk assessments to determine mitigations that should remain in place to protect staff.

Our union continues to resist pressure from the government that all staff should now ‘return to the workplace’, having spent significant time and effort with MOD developing smarter working policies and principles to support hybrid working where practicable.

We will continue to work to keep members safe and supported throughout these various challenges.

If you would like to join us, contact dsg@pcs.org.uk.