Young workers account for 10% of our total membership yet only 1% are active in PCS. Our union gives young workers a voice at work to ensure we continue to have a healthy union that campaigns on the issues that matter to us all well into the future. If you’re a PCS member aged 27 or under, read how you can get involved
1 Become a PCS Advocate
PCS Advocates are members who actively support the union and want to get more involved. It is the next step along for members interested in union activity. Your role as an advocate will be to help build the strength of the union where you work.
2 Get trained
Your PCS regional office provides training on organising young workers. The ‘introduction to PCS’ is also a great course for newer people. The regional office can provide you with details of upcoming training courses.
3 Where are the young members?
You need to know who you are targeting to determine issues affecting young members in your workplace. Your branch organiser can help in getting an overall picture of how many young members there are and how to get in touch with them.
4 Planning the next steps
Once you know who and where you need to target, approach your branch executive committee for help with drafting, agreeing and implementing an action plan. This should include plans for recruitment, organising objectives, campaigning activity, communicating with members and identifying common issues among young members. The plan should be reviewed on a regular basis.
5 Recruiting others
Have you asked other young members if they’d like to get more active in the union? They can do this by distributing young members’ materials, helping to organise events and activity or volunteering to become a union representative. Everyone’s contribution, large or small, can make a difference and get the union noticed in the workplace.
Being visible in the workplace means you are more likely to attract other young members towards the network, increasing our voice. Participating in learning at work days, branch meetings, recruitment stalls and social events will help strengthen the network and encourage others to participate.
7 Establishing the network
Once you have encouraged others to get involved, think about setting up a young members’ steering committee. A representative from each department or area will help determine the role of the network and help develop planning for future campaigning and organising initiatives.
Establishing clear lines of communication is important. You should aim to update contact lists on a regular basis and keep them informed with information relevant to young members. You should encourage others to comment or contribute to branch publications. You could aim to have young member specific newsletters or ensure regular young member updates are included in the future.
9 Keep in touch
Make sure you are in regular contact with your regional young member convenor who can update you on national campaigns, events and initiatives. Your regional convenor can also raise issues you may have with at region and/or national young member meetings. You can also share successes and barriers you’ve encountered with others in the network.
10 Be prepared for a challenge
There’s no guarantee you’ll be successful first time and you may encounter problems or set-backs. Don’t let this put you off – there is lots of support from full-time officers and lay officials, as a starter who not approach your workplace rep today to find out how you can get more involved with PCS?
Not a member? Apply to join PCS online now.