A guide to winning the pay ballot

Winning our ballot for industrial action on pay is the main focus of the union in the coming weeks.

Reps have been issued with information and material to help them with their work, including a guide to the ‘key steps to winning an industrial action ballot’.

Many reps also attended Saturday training workshops in June, which included a look at how we motivate the members who are still undecided about participating in the pay ballot, how we organise our existing activists, and how we involve new people.

“I went through the listening and ‘not judging’ technique [when talking to a potential member]. She has completed the application form to join”. Kay, DWP Sunderland.

Click here to read more about the key lessons reps took away from the ballot training sessions.

The printed ‘winning an industrial action ballot’ guide for branches includes the following three points:

1. Talk to members and non-members:
We need to engage directly with members so they feel confident in the union, understand the case for industrial action and recognise their role in the decision-making process.

Every worker – not just our existing members – should be spoken to about the ballot, especially those less likely to vote or those who are not convinced of the need for action. If they have concerns, doubts and questions, listen and spend time talking to them as an equal, rather than dismissing them as ‘just wrong’.

2. Aim high:
Reaching a 50% turnout in the ballot is the bare minimum, but we should be aiming for an overwhelming majority turnout, with an overwhelming yes vote in favour of action. The higher the turnout and the higher the yes vote, the more likely the employer will realise they have a big problem, and will choose to negotiate.

3. Be systematic:
In order to achieve a high turnout, branches must have a plan.

This might include ‘phone banking’ sessions of early evening or weekend calls to remind members to vote, a series of workplace meetings, and a plan to ensure every branch member is spoken to.
Break things down into manageable tasks, allocate specific tasks, and ask members to help.

If you have any questions, contact your regional office or the national organising department at organising@pcs.org.uk or on 0207 801 2691.

Updated 3 July 2018

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