The time for your PCS branch annual general meeting has almost rolled around again so why not go along, speak up and get involved?
The branch AGM, which is held between January and early March, is at the heart of the union’s democracy. It’s where annual and financial reports are agreed, election results announced, motions debated, conference delegates elected and nominations and motions for group and national elections considered.
It is important to go along because not only are key decisions being made, but you can really see how the union works and get involved. Although there are certain agenda items that have to be dealt with at an AGM, there’s no reason for it to be stuffy or formal. It’s also a chance to get together, talk about workplace issues and campaigns, assess how things are going and have your say. There is often a guest speaker and some branches hold a social afterwards.
All members have the right to go along to take part, and ask questions about the committee’s annual or financial reports, or other issues.
Elections are held before the AGM for branch officers and branch executive committee (BEC) members. Sometimes branch structures and policies differ slightly, but each BEC will have a chair, secretary, organiser and treasurer. The branch AGM will elect other branch reps covering local workplaces, as well as specific topics that typically include health and safety, union learning, equalities and young members.
To find out how to put yourself forward, talk to your local reps and look out for notices from your branch officers ahead of the meeting.
Pete Lockhart, the union’s national organising officer explains the important of getting involved in AGMs.
“Our whole democratic structure relies on the work of our branches. Please go along to your AGM, get involved and help shape our union,” he said.
“Without activity from members in the workplace, the union doesn’t exist. Members can, and do, get involved at any time of the year, but AGMs are a good focal point as this is when the vital committees are formed for the year ahead. Those are the people that do the daily work of representing members and keeping up with all the issues that matter to them.”
Any members who go along to the AGM are also directly involved in electing which delegates will go to PCS group and national conferences in May, as well as delegates to other bodies in which the branch participates. AGMs can also vote to nominate people who want to stand in PCS’s group and national elections (GEC and NEC).
Branches are encouraged to nominate under-represented groups including women, black, disabled, young members, and LGBT+ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, plus members. The meeting will also consider motions being put forward on key issues and campaigns at branch, group or national level. Motions can be on branch or workplace issues, group issues or on national issues for the annual delegate conference. Those agreed will then be dealt with by the BEC, or submitted for debate at the group and national conferences.
Talk to your local rep, branch officers, or regional PCS office, or email email@example.com
Tell us why you’re going to your AGM, email firstname.lastname@example.org
AGM preparation courses are being planned in our regional hubs, with events so far planned in: