PCS green policies

Environment and climate change policy agreed at PCS Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) 2019

Note: full text of motions is available from green@pcs.org.uk 

Emergency motion A312 instructed the NEC to declare a Climate Emergency on behalf of PCS union and that all branches should be encouraged to request their employer they also declare a Climate Emergency. Further that all branches should be encouraged to demand that Green Forums are set up in their workplaces wtih Trade Union representation, and that urgent measures are discussed and implemented to reduce carbon emissions, for green reps to be appointed, and for the NEC to to issue communications about the about these points. 

Emergency motion A317 calls on the NEC to 

  • Support our sister education unions, working with them and other TUC affiliates to promote a trade union climate agenda
  • Publicise and support the Student climate strikers and Extinction Rebelloin protests, including sending messages of support, inviting speakers to branch meetings and encouraging PCS branches and regions to support protests and to take PCS banners to protests.
  • Consult with all sections of the union how we can step up our action on climate change;
  • Continue to argue for a fully funded and staffed civil service that is able to deliver on the climate agenda and other environmental measures such as protecting biodiversity, including calling on the civil service to integrate concerns over environmetnal issues (such as high air-pollution levels, warmer work spaces) into our procedures.
  • Support and campaign for the urgent action being called for by Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party as part of declaring a Climate Emergency.

Motion A65 instructs the NEC to:

1. Work with trade unions and allies that support a whole economy approach to tackling climate change and Just Transition to build an alternative transition strategy;

2. Ensure any alternative includes confronting difficult issues such as aviation expansion, nuclear and hydrogen/bio-fuel gas;

3. Support, promote and move motions for an alternative Just Transition that recognises the rights of the entire labour movement to be part of these discussions, and for solutions that benefit all workers as part of a transformational transition as set out in the PCS pamphlet;

4. Confront and raise equality dimensions in the Just Transition debate and proposals where gender; disability and race is largely absent.

5. Emphasise the need for solidarity across our movement and that a solution in one place cannot be to the detriment of workers in another, and recognises our particular responsibility to the global south;

6. Continue to promote the role of Workplace Environmental Reps in building workplace actions, including raising awareness of climate change and pushing for statutory recognition rights;

7. Promote the Green reps course across the union;

8. Work with the widest variety of groups promoting solutions to climate change within PCS’s policy objectives – including linking with industrial aims such as pay – and emerging initiatives such as the Green New Deal.


    Previous years' motions


    A86 instructs the NEC to:

    • build on the Just Transition pamphlet launched in 2017 and advocate for a Just Transition Act, and the core principles/elements within that to underpin a planned economic transition, that is more than a floor of social protections but a proactive policy for social justice; 
    • lobby the Labour Party for proposed machinery of government changes that will ensure a civil service ready to deliver on climate change as advocated for as part of a National Climate Service;
    • work with all PCS groups and branches to understand their role in a Just Transition and the importance of workplace envinormental reps in reaching local environmental agreements and action plans, including providing model negotiators guidance;
    • continue working through the global Trade Unions for Energy Democracy initiative and specifically UK TUED unions, to influence policy and the pathway to achiveing the public ownership nd democratic control of energy;
    • promote projects such as the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre climate jobs plan against fracking in all regions/locatlities as an atlernaive to dirty energy plans; 
    • campaign with, and support, groups such as Friends of the Earth, Campaign Against Climate Change and others both nationally and overseas in building a Just Transition and role of climate jobs in addressing climate change.

    A87 - Scotland and Climate Change motion calls on the NEC to hold a one-day delegate conference of Scottish branches to consider the impact on public services of the Scottish Climate Change Plan; to establish a working party involving the NEC, Scottish Sector and Scotland Committee to identify priorties in the process of transition, the needs of members, the kinds of employment protections we should seek from the employer and campaign on; to work with the STUC and other unions to build a consenusus around demands to exert maximum pressure on the Scottish Government in defence of members, to establish genuine energy democracy and ensure a transformative transition in the interests of the Scottish working class.

    A88 motion on industrial strategy, automation and Just Transition instructs the NEC to work with those unions that supported to 2017 TUC Climate Change motion to develop a strategy for the long-term protection of workers in the era of automation and climate change, and to influence any incoming Labour government to adopt an industrial stategy that prioritises a transition to a low carbon economy, implemented by workers in decently paid, unionised jobs.

    A89  calls the NEC to extend the Just Transition campaign into the food and farming sectors.

    A90 and A280 - Plastics use and recycling.  Two motions that emphasise the need to address plastic pollution and waste.  The first seeks to review and devise new policies for procurement that would reduce the generation of plastic waste, and implement a plastic reduction policy within the union itself. The second instructs the NEC to negotiate that the govenment withdraws from any purchase activity on items made from non-recylced plastics and leads by example on this. That the government follows the Scottish government in cutting use of non-recyclable plastic and to task the PCS Parliamentary Group on pressuring government to establish plans to prevent further plastic waste entering our seas.  The NEC to report back to the membership by end of November 2018.

    A91 on air polllution instructs the NEC to campaign for a legal framework that addresses this health emergency including strengthening envioronmental protections after Brexit; promotes awareness raising across the civil service and beyond; provide training and support for PCS Green and Health and Safety reps to tackle this issue in their workplace and communities; work with the Greener Jobs Alliance, the Hazards Campaign and other organisations promoting air quality action to deliver these objectives.


    A41 calling on conference to adopt and promote the new PCS pamphlet on just transition and energy democracy (see separate page).  Other elements are to ensure that climate change demands are included in industrial strategies; to continue to press for formal consultation mechanisms on sustainability issues within the Civil Service Forum including to lobby for staturtory rights for Workplace Environmental Reps (WERs); to work with the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and other energy democracy groups such as Switched on London to promote energy transition based on public ownership and democratic control; to promote international solidarity on issues such as climate refugees.

    A42 called for arms to renewables noting the devasting impact of the arms trade and need to urgently tackle climate change by promoting renewable energy and one million climate jobs. As the delegate from Defra said - there is an alternative, turning Trident into wind turbines!

    A43 reffirmed the union's opposition to nuclear energy, the need to promote energy democracy and fight for green energy.  Speaking for the NEC, Martin Cavanagh said investment in nuclear should be put into renewables, along with research into storage technology and support for decentralised energy systems. 

    A44 moved by Aviation Group President Tahir Latif, highlighted the failiure of government to address the problem of diesel cars and air pollution, and the need for a clear plan to move to electric vehicles run on renewable energy in the shortest possible time-frame. 

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