21 April 2022

What's On? 25 April - 1 May

As we head into May, PCS has a number of great courses coming up.

To be able to view and reserve spaces for these courses you'll need to log into to PCS Digital. If you haven't registered for PCS Digital yet please do so. 

Free vocational courses in England and Scotland

A new agreement with The Skills Network has extended provision to include all members in Scotland

PCS members in Scotland have joined PCS members in England in being able to sign up to over 40 free vocational courses, all leading to a nationally-recognised level 2 qualification.

The courses are vocational and offer skills and knowledge for an occupation or employment. Depending on your current role, some courses will enable you to develop skills and knowledge in your existing field, whilst others offer the chance to change career direction.

Eligibility and to find out more

To qualify for funding for one of The Skills Network courses you must be aged 19 or over. You cannot enrol on to a course you have already completed:

  • Members in English regions - members need to reside in those English postcodes (the majority) covered by The Skills Network's funding partnerships. This is a result of the government's devolution of the adult education budget. If funding is not available in your postcode area, The Skills Network will offer you a free alternative continuous professional development (CPD) short course. 
  • Members in Scotland - all members across Scotland are eligible for all 57 courses at level 2 and 3.

Count on PCS for a strong voice at work

Joining PCS makes you part of a strong collective of members where you work, giving you a powerful voice.

Whether you work in a jobcentre, Revenue and Customs office, at our borders or a department in Westminster, in your first job or your fifth, a manager or just starting out, full-time or part-time – PCS is your union.

Right now, the world of work is changing rapidly with new technologies, new priorities and changing work patterns. In the post Covid-19 workplace, these changes will accelerate and throw up new challenges for you. Let PCS be your voice at work.

Your union supports you, talks to your employer on your behalf and helps resolve issues that crop up for you at work. Your union helps ensure you work in a safe and healthy environment.

Your union is a valuable network that you cannot afford not to be a part of. Join us today.


Members peering into black hole of DWP office closures

“It's like peering into a black hole but trying to encourage staff to believe the best will happen,” says Susan, summing up her response to the threatened closure of the benefits processing centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, where she works.

Hanley is one of more than 40 DWP processing offices which the DWP announced last month would close next year. It is one of 13 sites where staff are not being offered a chance to relocate within the department.

Tell us how you think this decision could affect you by emailing: dwp@pcs.org.uk

We will use your comments on social media and in web articles but will change your name.

Also get in touch if you are part of a campaign in your area against the closure of one of the offices, to tell us how you are fighting the plans.

We also need all PCS members to sign our petition against the DWP plans and use our e-action to ask their MP to support our campaign.


International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) 2022

On 28 April, the international trade union movement participates in events to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of poor health and safety practices at work and how we fight for improvements today, so that it doesn’t happen again. This year’s theme is ‘occupational health and safety is a human right’.

With the government removing the legal requirement on employers to carry out Covid 19 risk assessments, removing the requirement to record cases and access to free testing, it is down to the trade unions to use existing health and safety law and regulations to enforce our rights to a safe and healthy working environment.

All branches are encouraged to organise an event to mark IWMD this year. You may want to hold a memorial service for colleagues we have lost this year, a branch health and safety inspection or an online event. Please discuss this in your branch and let us know your plans.

We are especially looking to hear from any branches who have good examples of where they have used health and safety rights and regulations to organise effectively in the workplace for a union training video.

If you would like further assistance or a discussion about organising an event and what support we can provide, please let us know.

Please email healthandsafety@pcs.org.uk on all of the above.


Advocates 2 - Eastern, London and the South East

25 April: 12pm -1pm

The aim of this session is to continue to develop the skills of union advocates who have begun to carry out the role and to give them confidence in talking to members to help build the union. 
You must have completed the initial Advocates 1 session.


Workplace Reps: Essential Building Blocks - London and the South East, South West and Eastern

26 April - 21 June: 10am -4pm

This course is aimed at newly-appointed reps and union advocates. It will give you the skills and knowledge to effectively represent your members, covering organising, campaigning, negotiating, equality, and more. The course covers essential approaches and techniques that underpin effective organising and bargaining set in the context of the contemporary trade union movement. This includes the role of the union rep in building the strength of the union, communications, effective negotiations and planning.


PCS Wales Health and Safety Meeting

26 April: 10am -12pm

As we see more Covid restrictions being withdrawn and members in some departments being pushed back into offices, the PCS Wales committee wants to hear from PCS members and listen to issues, barriers, concerns and share best practice in dealing with return to offices, risk assessments and potentially hostile employers.

The meeting will take place via Zoom


CV Writing online workshop

26 April: 1pm -2pm

This workshop is aimed at members who are applying for roles outside the civil service, or who want to understand in more detail how to construct your CV, including for civil service applications. Jane will show you ways to create your CV, or update your existing one, so that when you apply for a job you have lots of examples to use.

To get the most out of this workshop, we encourage you to also register for our Value My Skills and Assertiveness online workshops. You can register here.


Handling Complex Issues - Cymru/Wales

26 April - 10 May: 9:30am - 4:30pm

This course is aimed at more experienced reps. It focuses on conduct and discipline, bullying/harassment, discrimination, attendance and ‘efficiency’ issues - and explores ways of collectivising issues (bargaining for better agreements and policies, and the organising and campaigning work needed to support that). You will also look at the deadlines and procedures required to protect any members’ legal position.


Neurodiversity in the Workplace stage 1

27 April - 28 April: 9:30am - 4:30pm

Some people are autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, ADHD, or another atypical condition. PCS fights for all members - especially those who face disadvantage and discrimination in the workplace, and in wider society. Opportunities need to be widened and support strengthened, not cut back under the excuse of 'austerity'.

Sign up for our two-day course and become a PCS Neurodiversity Champion.


Learning Reps - Cymru/Wales

28 April - 19 May: 9:30am - 4:30pm

Union Learning Reps (ULRs) play a huge role in helping members gain the learning and development opportunities they need. Whether it’s promoting relevant external or employer-run courses, advising apprentices about their rights, or helping to arrange support and training in the workplace, this 3-day course will give you the tools to make a difference on learning in your union branch!


Register with PCS Digital to book yourself on to an upcoming course

PCS courses and events are now being listed on PCS Digital. To be able to view and reserve spaces for upcoming events you'll need to log in to PCS Digital. If you have not yet registered for PCS Digital, please do so here.


Get in touch

Check out our events pagePCS Digital, or contact your local rep or regional office to find out what’s going on this week and in the coming weeks.

Let us know what your group or branch is planning so we can publicise it in our weekly round-up. Email web@pcs.org.uk

Stay informed by updating your details securely online by registering for PCS Digital