It’s PCS AGM season so get involved and have your say

19 Feb 2019

Want to get more involved in PCS? Go to your PCS branch annual general meeting, have your say and volunteer to play your part in our pay campaign.

The branch AGM, which is held between now and early March, is at the heart of our 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. You can get active in PCS and in particular our pay campaign by simply filling in our online form to volunteer your time.

Fight for the pay rise you deserve

We need all members to commit to doing one, several or all of the following:

  • Talk to other members about the campaign
  • Recruit new members
  • Hand out leaflets at work
  • Take part in an organised phone bank to help get the vote out
  • Attend a pay event.

Get together

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.

Focal point

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 chairsecretaryorganiser 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 why it’s important to get 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).

Increase representation

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.

Any questions?

Talk to your local rep, branch officers, or regional PCS office, or email organising@pcs.org.uk

Tell us why you’re going to your AGM and why you feel it’s important to get involved and have your say, email editor@pcs.org.uk

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