PCS AGM season is virtually upon us so get involved

07 Jan 2021

Want to get more involved in PCS? Attend your PCS branch annual general meeting, have your say and get active in your union.

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 conference and elections considered.

It is important to attend because not only are key decisions being made, but you can really see how the union works and get involved. Obviously because of the pandemic most AGMs will take place virtually this year.

Virtual 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, albeit virtually this year, talk about workplace issues and campaigns, assess how things are going and have your say. There is also often a guest speaker, typically a senior lay rep.

Focal point

All members have the right to attend and 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 may elect other branch reps covering local workplaces, as well as specific roles that typically include health and safety, union learning, environmental rep, 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.

Any members who go along to the AGM are also directly involved in electing which delegates will go to PCS group and national conferences, which will also be held virtually this, 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 members from under-represented groups including:

  • Women
  • Black
  • Disabled
  • Young members,
  • And LGBT+ 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?

We are running an online training course, Preparing For Your AGM on 27 and 28 January, which is specially designed for branch reps who are new to running an AGM. It will cover the basics of putting together an agenda, calling for nominations and motions, running ballots and maximising attendance. It will also cover the basics of how to run an AGM online via Zoom.

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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