An urgent recruitment drive in HMRC is well under way, with the aim of improving membership density in the group.
The three-month project – which aims to increase the activist base as well as recruiting more members – has had the support of PCS full time officers working directly with branch organisers and reps.
It’s part of a broader plan to further strengthen the union through recruitment – targets have been set for branches and workplaces and there’s an overall PCS target of reaching 200,000 members by 2020.
PCS organising officer Laura Bee reports from organising activity within HMRC in the Midlands:
We’ve been working with organisers and reps in R&C East Midlands, West Mercia and Telford, and doing a variety of things to tackle recruitment since we started the project in September – with some really positive results. The project also includes training to increase confidence amongst our reps.
We held induction sections for the Surge and Rapid Response Teams [groups of apprentices set up to help departments manage crises and surges in demand] during a learning day, and all those that attended joined PCS.
Given the nature of the work and the fact that ‘surge’ apprentices are redeployed at short notice, often across long distances, and are often expected to work alone, it’s vital that those members are supported by the union.
Reps have also been doing health and safety (H&S) inspections, where the H&S reps floor-walk all areas of the workplace recording any concerns. These can include trailing wires, loose blind fittings, loose carpet fittings or incorrect/outdated H&S signage. During the inspections the reps speak to members about any concerns they have in the workplace which, by and large, encourages discussion about membership.
HMRC reps have also been:
- Floor walking to recruit new members
- Undertaking mapping exercises to help focus their recruitment plans
- Organising recruitment stalls in workplaces
- Holding payday protests, which have been well supported, and building for the pay ballot.
“The organising project is going really well in all regions and it's been great to work with reps and branches and visit members in the workplace,” said Laura.
GET INVOLVED: Members who want to get more involved in the union and with this organising initiative should contact the national organising department at firstname.lastname@example.org