24 March 2022

What's on? 28 March - 3 April

As we head into April, PCS announces its summer course programme, offering a wide range or courses and learning opportunities for members. 

Get involved in PCS campaign against DWP office closures

We need all PCS members and supporters to sign our petition against DWP plans to close more than 40 offices and use our e-action to ask their MP to support our campaign.

The DWP announced on 17 March plans to close 41 DWP processing offices, many in deprived communities already damaged by government cuts, putting thousands of jobs at risk of redundancy.

With the petition we intend to collect as many responses as possible to call on Therese Coffey, the secretary of state for work and pensions, to halt redundancies and office closures. With the e-action we are asking you to email your MP urging them to support our campaign by writing to the secretary of state and attending the PCS parliamentary briefing of MPs on 30 March.

An online meeting of all PCS DWP branches is planned for 31 March.

Are you a DWP member in need of help or support?

How to show solidarity with sacked P&O workers

There are a number of ways PCS members and supporters can show solidarity with P&O workers who were disgracefully sacked by the company last week, including sending solidarity messages, signing a petition and joining a demonstration.

P&O Ferries CEO Peter Hebblethwaite today admitted to MPs that the company deliberately chose to break the law when making 800 British seafarers redundant on 17 March via video.

Join a demo

The RMT is organising mass demonstrations at ports up and down the country, to show DP World  and the government that public anger is growing over the sacking of the 800 P&O staff.

Dates of demos this week

Friday, 25 March - 1pm

Larne Larne Harbour Ltd (port entrance) 9 Olderfleet Road, Larne, Northern Ireland, BT40 1AS

Saturday, 26 March 

Dover - Midday Assemble at Maritime House, Snargate Street, Dover CT17 9BZ

Hull 1pm - Assemble at King George Dock, Hull HU9 5PR

Liverpool - 11.30am Assemble at main Liverpool port entrance, Liverpool L21 1LA.

All DWP branches meeting on stop the cuts campaign

PCS is urging all DWP branches to send 2 reps to an online meeting on Thursday (31) to discuss our campaign to oppose the proposed closure of 41 processing offices across the DWP.

We have agreed facility time with the DWP for 2 reps from each branch in the PCS DWP Group to attend the meeting which runs from 10.30am to 4pm.

Before Thursday, reps are encouraged to hold meetings to consult with their members and gauge what they are prepared to do to support the campaign. Branches are advised to contact dwp@pcs.org.uk to arrange a speaker from the PCS negotiating team.

All branches are expected to send delegates to this very important meeting which will be held on Zoom.

PCS summer course programme announced

PCS Academy offers a wide range of courses and learning opportunities.

It’s never been easier to get involved in PCS, by accessing the wide range of learning opportunities the union offers. PCS Academy today launches its extensive programme of training courses for our Spring-Summer term. We are running over 80 courses across all PCS regions. You can find full details on our Courses page

All courses are now available for online registration. To begin on your PCS learning journey, just register and log-in to PCS Digital, click on ‘Courses & Events’, and pick your dates. You can also browse the PCS Academy Spring 2022 programme without logging in.  

If you have any questions on our trade union education offer please email us at tuedacademy@pcs.org.uk.

PCS wins check-off case against the Home Office

We have recorded another great win in the High Court on the issue of check-off, this time against the Home Office.

It follows a similar victory against the Department for Work and Pensions, who were forced to pay the union £3 million in damages.

On 1 December 2014, the Home Office removed the check-off facility from PCS members. Check-off was the system by which members paid their subscriptions to the union through the employer's payroll system. The Home Office’s action was taken around the same time as the vast majority of other civil service employers removed the facility at the urgings of the then minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

The withdrawal of check-off was an attempt to destroy our union. We will continue to fight and campaign on behalf of our members undeterred by government threats and intimidation.

Work in the civil service but not a PCS member? Join online now.

PCS brands pay process a farce as Cabinet Office rules out meaningful consultation

PCS has accused the Cabinet Office of ignoring the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on our members.

We met with the Cabinet Office yesterday (23) to discuss the forthcoming pay remit guidance, which covers pay setting arrangements for civil servants throughout the civil service, due to be published next Thursday (31 March).

We told the Cabinet Office that our members have now voted by a majority of 98% to endorse our pay claim, submitted in December, and by a majority of 81% to take industrial action, if their aspirations are not met. We said that there needed to be a sea change in the employer’s approach to negotiations if industrial action was to be avoided.

Our pensions loss calculator

PCS members have been forced to overpay into their civil service pensions over the past couple of years and have ‘lost’ on average £1,000.

Use the new PCS pensions loss calculator, which will show how much you have overpaid for your pension this month and then share your loss on social media on payday. You should also input your loss into our editable graphic, and use our e-action to share what you have lost with their MP.

Developing Your Branch Advocates - Eastern, London and the South East

28 March: 120pm - 1pm

The aim of this session is to inform reps, including Branch and Group Officers, about the role of the Advocate, and give them some guidance and tips on what they can do to support advocates, and how utilising advocates effectively can build the union.

Neurodiversity in the Workplace stage 1

31 March - 1 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 out two day course and become a PCS Neurodiversity Champion.

Advocates 1 - North West

31 March: 2pm - 3pm

The key to a stronger PCS is greater participation by members in the day-to-day running of the union at the local level. If you are willing to help out a little come along to this session to talk about how you can play a role in your union as a workplace advocate.

CV Writing online workshop

29 March: 1pm - 2pm

Join our CV Writing online workshop run by experienced employability tutor, Jane Walton, from the Workers Educational Association.

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.

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