Short courses skills and issues

Public speaking

This course is designed for PCS reps who speak in public, at conferences, members meetings, rallies or even on TV or radio. You will look at approaches to different types of speeches, understand how to prepare speeches and to have a practical opportunity to develop your speaking skills.

Duration: 2 days

Course requirements: participants should have completed the core PCS workplace reps training programme (or its pre-2019 predecessors).


Trainee delegates [PCS Annual Delegate Conference]

If you are interested in attending PCS Annual Conference for the first time, but are not part of your branch’s delegation, you can seek nomination (from your branch AGM) for a place on the trainee delegate programme. You will spend the 2 days of the conference with other trainees learning the rules and terminology of union conferences, meet some of the senior PCS lay officers, understand how motions are constructed, and have a practise at public speaking within a small group to build your confidence and hopefully come back to ADC next year as a full delegate and speak in the big hall.

Duration: 2 days [PM Tuesday, all-day Wednesday, AM Thursday]

Course requirements: participants should receive nomination via their branch AGM. Applications should be submitted by your branch committee to the NEC for their consideration, by conference deadline (which is generally 5pm on the first Thursday in March). Applicants will be advised whether they have been successful at the earliest opportunity following this deadline.


Social media for trade unionists

Social media is now a vital tool for communicating with union members. But how do we use it effectively and avoid potential misuse? This workshop gives handy tips on getting your messages across, and facilitates sharing of best practise for your PCS branch’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: participants should have completed the core PCS workplace reps training programme (or its pre-2019 predecessors). Alternatively, participants should have completed health and safety rep, equalities officer, or learning rep training.


Preparing for your AGM

This is a one day course, usually held in January, aimed at any PCS branch officers or reps involved with preparing for your branch AGM. The course is designed to explain the AGM process including deadlines, help increase AGM attendance and participation, and to develop motion writing skills. For those who intend to attend PCS conference the course will also help you understand conference procedures, and develop speaking skills and confidence.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: none


Pay negotiations

This course is ideal for groups, national branches and other PCS committees who regularly negotiate with employers. As union and management teams you will enact a day of bargaining theory and practise to understand more of the psychology of negotiation. You will also explore the vital importance of high member participation in the bargaining process – the key to winning is a branch or group of well-organised members. Ask your group secretary to make enquiries with PCS organising department if you are interested in this course on in your area of the union.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: participants would be expected to have completed core workplace reps training (or its pre-2019 predecessors) and expecting to be involved in bargaining with the employer.


Campaigning and young workers’ issues

It is a cliché to say young members are the future of the union – but PCS knows that it is vital to develop our young members in the present as well as the future, and to get them involved in advancing the issues of young workers.

Are many young workers in your department used as (cheaper) ‘contingent labour’? Are many apprentices failing to get the proper pay and training they are entitled to? Does it feel intimidating getting your voice heard in a union of mainly older workers? PCS has an active national young members committee, and thriving networks in most regions. This one-day course is an ideal way to meet other young PCS members in your region across various employers and get more active in the union.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: you must be a PCS member 27 years of age or under.


Organising apprentices

The government has a huge target of 30,000 civil service apprenticeships by 2020. This should be a great news for high quality career opportunities – but unless the union is strong, and apprentices are recruited and well-organised, the scheme could simply lead to exploitation of young workers. Whether you are an apprentice yourself, a ULR giving support to apprentices, or a rep/branch officer, come along to this seminar and learn more about apprentices rights.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: you should be either a PCS member who is themselves an apprentice, or a PCS rep, ULR or branch young members’ officer who regularly assists or represents members who are apprentices.


Pan-equality training

PCS has self-organised lay member structures representing the concerns of disabled members, black members, women, LGBT members and young workers. The PCS Equality Department puts on a series of one-day training seminars in each region of the union each year, bringing members together across all of the networks to discuss improving participation in the union’s equality structure. The days also includes workshops on a variety of subjects.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: none


Media and communications

This one-day workshop covers how to use your key campaigning messages effectively when dealing with the media and helps you to develop communication skills.

Whether writing newsletters for your branch members, leaflets to win public support, crafting press releases to publicise campaigns or speaking to local radio or TV, this course shows you how to make your messages simple, direct and powerful.

Duration: 1 day

Course requirements: participants would be expected to have completed core workplace reps training (or its pre-2019 predecessors).


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