Equality: breaking down barriers to union involvement

Events to bring together all equality groups to talk about issues like mental health and sexual harassment, as well as barriers to union involvement and how we ad-dress them, are being held in PCS regions in the new year.

The pan-equality events are scheduled for January in the following PCS regions: Northern (16); Yorkshire and Humber (18); North West (19); and Midlands (25). Dates in Eastern and the South West are to be confirmed. Events have already been held in Scotland, Wales, and London and the South East.

It’s a great opportunity to encourage members from under-represented groups to become more involved in PCS, and to encourage non-members to join.

There will also be a consultation in the new year on women’s representation on the union’s national executive committee (NEC), following a conference motion at ADC in May. See below for details of how to take part.

What can under-represented groups do to get involved in PCS and its campaigns?:

  • Get involved by becoming a PCS Advocate equality rep, young members rep or union learning rep
  • Go to your branch annual general meeting (AGM) which is coming up in the new year – an ideal chance to get involved and encourage others to do the same. This year we’re aiming to get a lot more members (25% of branch members) to attend AGMs, especially from under-represented groups
  • Write a blog on why you’re involved in the union or the pay campaign, and in-clude a photo
  • Take a pic with our photo cards to support PCS campaigns like the pay cam-paign
  • Get involved in history months and annual events – LGBT+ history month is coming up in February. Click here for the full 2019 calendar.
  • Attend PCS meetings and events and encourage colleagues to come along
  • Vote in pay ballots and elections and remind colleagues too
  • Make sure your personal details are up to date on the union’s records.
  • Recruit your colleagues – members from equality groups tend to be successful in recruiting other under-represented colleagues
  • Organise an equality event, social, or campaign and get others involved
  • Help out in the branch with leafleting, updating notice boards, newsletters, and social media. 

Women’s representation on the NEC

Motion A44 at the union’s national conference in 2018 instructed the NEC to conduct a widespread consultation on the proposal that rule changes are made to ensure that at least 50% of the ordinary NEC seats are filled by women candidates.

The motion also called for work to be stepped up to remove barriers to the participation of women in the activities of the union at workplace, branch and group levels, and to include this work in the consultation.

Two questions will be asked in the consultation, open until 1 February 2019:

  1. What measures do you think would work best to remove barriers for women to participate and stand for election within the union?
  2. Do you support the proposal that rule changes should be made that ensure that at least 50% of the ordinary NEC seats are filled by women candidates?

Have your say by 1 February

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