Maximising turnout at PCS branch AGMs

Reps are urged to start planning now to help increase engagement by maximising attendance at branch AGMs, which are held during February and early March.

Read our tips below to help boost attendance at your AGM. 

The branch AGM is at the heart of the union’s democracy. It’s where annual and financial reports are agreed, election results announced, motions debated, delegates elected and nominations and motions for group and national elections considered.

Read the full AGM guide.

Members should be made aware that it’s a good place to see how the union works, talk about workplace issues and campaigns, have their say and get involved.

Although there are certain agenda items that have to be dealt with at an AGM, it doesn’t need to be formal. There’s often a guest speaker and some branches hold a social afterwards.

10 tips for boosting AGM attendance

  1. Advertise – Start promoting your AGM now…posters on every workplace noticeboard, a flyer on every desktop, followed up with an email invitation.
  2. Branches got talent – Make any posters and flyers you design eye-catching and attractive – ask one of your members who is creative and artistic to help.
  3. Not just one – Consider multiple workplace meetings in a rolling AGM over a week or two, especially if you have multi-site branch. Ensure tellers are available at each to aggregate any votes.
  4. Make it interesting – invite a local or national speaker who will bring in a crowd – doesn’t have to be a PCS person, it could be a local MP, or a well-known campaigner, or even a celebrity of some kind.
  5. Talk issues – Make it clear what issues are going to be discussed – and make sure they are the topics that will resonate with most members. An agenda that just says ‘nominations, matter arising etc’ won’t “grab“ members' attention.
  6. Make it welcoming – Make it clear to all members that they are welcome to get involved in the union. This is the branch’s big opportunity to get more members active – in any capacity ….and make it fun.
  7. Food and drink – Offer refreshments – cover various dietary requirements like meat, fish, vegetarian, vegan, halal, so everyone feels welcome.
  8. Access – Make the time and venue as accessible as possible. Bear in mind shift patterns, members with caring responsibilities, members with disabilities. Don’t cater toward the average member – cater for every member.  
  9. Time off – Negotiate time off with local management for members to attend where possible.
  10. Have an ask– Every member who attends the AGM should be asked to do something – eg hand out 10 leaflets, or recruit one new member.

Any questions?

Talk to your local rep, branch officers, or regional PCS office, or email

Read the full AGM guide.

Updated 20 January 2020

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