Building our strength by getting more members involved is at the heart of a review of the union’s branch structures that is now under way.
Activists are urged to contribute to discussions in their groups and ensure members are included.
Groups have been asked to undertake a review of their branch structures by the end of October and report back to the NEC. The NEC’s Organising Committee is supporting the work and a Group Organisers’ Forum will be held on Saturday, 21st October where the issues will be discussed further.
The process is part of PCS’s wider Strategic Review (opens as pdf) of structures and ways of working, designed to enable us to build stronger and more active workplace organisation.
Branch re-structuring aims to encourage member participation in union activity, recruit new members and organise so that we can maximise our industrial and political leverage.
PCS national conference in 2016 agreed to conduct the review. In 2017, ADC motion A65 set out the principles and processes to be followed in carrying it out.
Branch review principles
The five principles agreed by Conference to be applied by Groups when reviewing branch structures are as follows:
- All members should have the opportunity to participate in the union, with all other union members at their workplace, in their branch, and with members of other branches in their workplace,
- All members working in the same Group at a workplace should be in the same branch,
- All members should have access to a PCS rep, advocate or other PCS point of contact in their workplace,
- All members should have a democratic link to negotiators who act on their behalf with their employer,
- Wherever possible, branches should be constructed of workplaces within a reasonable travel distance of each other.
The principles support the objectives of the National Organising Strategy, particularly when it comes to identifying and removing the barriers to participation amongst members in underrepresented groups.
To help with the re-structuring process groups should invite a member of the NEC’s Organising Committee to speak at their GEC or group officers’ meetings.
The NEC will subsequently be consulting branches on a revised model branch constitution which will reflect changes to branch structures and will be brought to conference in 2018.
Additional supporting material is being sent out to groups who will in turn consult with their branches.