‘Big Conversation’ will boost ballot preparations

A plan to boost organisation ahead of a 2019 pay ballot by having face-to-face conversations with 12,000 members and non-members has been launched by reps in the Home Office group.

Speaking to more members is a vital part of our ‘steps to winning’ plan – see here for more.

The Big Conversation was the brainchild of the Home Office Group Secretary and members of the GEC. The plan is being trialled in three of their branches before being rolled out across the whole of the Home Office between now and the end of January.

If each rep talks to 30 members and 10 non-members over three months, it will amount to one-to-one conversations with 9,000 members and 3,000 non-members.

“There is no substitute for good old fashioned union work,” said GEC group organiser Malcolm Davey.

The idea was presented at a Group Organising Seminar on 20 October, as an example of how we build up to a point of being able to talk one-to-one with 90% of all members ahead of a ballot being called.

Each of the Home Office Group’s 300 reps will be asked to:

  • Talk to 30 members
  • Talk to 10 non-members
  • Briefly note the conversation on a simple online form

Reps or Advocates are requested to explain the difference between a consultative ballot and a statutory ballot – and the fact that we are likely to be moving to a statutory ballot on pay next year – and give out pre-made cards reiterating those facts.

They should also explain how members can update their ballot address, and email contact details.

Reps are also advised to ask the PCS members:

  1. What are the main issues they care about.
  2. Whether they would be prepared to vote in a future ballot.
  3. Whether they would be prepared to get involved in union activity and be registered as a PCS Advocate, and follow up with another conversation.

In non-member conversations, reps are advised to:

  1. Explain what PCS is and why they should join.
  2. Give them an application form to join the union.
  3. Follow up by going and speaking to the non-member again.

A reps guide to how The Big Conversation works has been produced and will be adapted for other groups and branches as part of the national campaign.

A short bespoke training session has been produced for activists who request it and GEC Liaison Officers are supporting reps in their work during the three-month trial.

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