4 May 2022

From the PSMA president

Adrian Hedley on the challenges facing members over the coming months.

The year appears to have started as 2021 ended, and already looks to be another eventful and challenging year for PCS members. After a challenging winter and a worsening cost-of-living crisis, our members are now facing inflation rising at its fastest rate for 30 years as fuel, energy and food costs surge.

The scandal of record-high energy prices is not helped by the energy price cap being raised by £693 from this month, and this being on top of increases to Council Tax bills and a hike on National Insurance contributions.

Despite this challenging start to the year, the private sector of PCS has seen some key industrial wins for our members.

In Atos, our members delivered an 89.8% vote for strike action, following rejection of the company’s original offer on pay. Following this vote, a significantly increased offer of a two-year deal was put to members, which was accepted by a 94.6% majority.

Our members in Fujitsu also delivered a massive vote in favour of strike action. This led to the company making an improved pay offer, which was overwhelmingly accepted by the membership in a ballot.

As I write this article, members will be all too aware of what is happening in Ukraine right now. PCS condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calls for the withdrawal of its army and sends solidarity to Ukrainian trade unionists.

At our NEC meeting in March, we heard from Ivana, a rep from the State Employees Union of Ukraine. I am proud that the NEC agreed to make a £10,000 donation to the State Employees Union of Ukraine’s Trade Union Lifeline, and that PCS has begun work on practical measures to help the Ukrainian trade union movement.

In previous editions of Commercial Break, we advised that membership application forms specifically aimed at recruiting new members in the commercial sector, were now available to be used. Forms are available for both members in recognised or non-recognised workplaces and should be available from your regional office.

Adrian Hedley, PSMA president