The National Committee was in its second year of a two year term. The Committee took up office on 1 June 2009.
Membership of the National Committee during 2010 was:-
The minutes of all meetings of the National Committee were circulated to Regional Secretaries and a summary included on the ARMs pages on the PCS website.
No amendments to the ARMs National Constitution were made at the 2010 Forum. Regions have also been reviewing their constitutions and have, as opportunity permits, been amending their rules to bring them into line with the National ARMs rules.
All members of the National Committee, Regional Chairs, Treasurers and Secretaries can now have PCS emails transferred to their personal emails under cover of our PCS-ARMs email address.
We have regularly updated the PCS website on ARMs issues. During the year we re-designed the ARMs application form to incorporate the ARMs Banner and to include parts of the ‘Keep in Touch’ leaflet which needed to be reissued.
A review of the PCS membership database was commenced during the year.
From January 2010 letters inviting lapsed ordinary members to join ARMs were sent as a matter of routine.
Regional AGMs are now being advertised in the ARMs Newsletter and on the PCS website.
A document illustrating the ARMs structures and PCS services incorporating advice on a range of issues was available during the year.
The ARMs Forum met in Blackpool on 10 June 2010 and a summary included on the ARMs page of the PCS website and an ‘action’ document produced which was circulated to Regions and the National Committee.
The Forum was attended by members of the National Committee, representatives of our Regions and HQ staff. Our main guest speaker was David Wilkinson, PCS DWP Leeds Regional Office. A report also appeared in the ARMs Newsletter.
The next Forum is scheduled to be in Blackpool on 16 June 2011.
During 2009 and 2010 the National Executive Committee (NEC) reviewed a range of issues concerning ARMs. In essence these were:
During 2010 Gold Badges recognising service were awarded to:
No progress has been made on acquiring death benefits for associate members. We are still progressing the need to have access to departmental retirement courses.
The NEC agreed a revised budget of £30,000 for ARMs for 2010. The National Committee drew up a number of budget lines covering costs of the Newsletter, Regional expenditures, the Annual Forum, the National Committee, the annual meeting between the National Committee and Regional Representatives, the NPC Parliament, Affiliations/Delegations and a small contingency reserve.
We have tightly controlled expenditure during 2010 and this has been monitored by a small sub group of the National Committee. By the end of the year, subject to final figures being confirmed, we appear to have worked within budget and put considerable resources into Regional budgets. Detailed reports have been made available to the National Committee and a full statement will be circulated to Regions in advance of the 2011 Forum.
For the 2011 budget process the National Committee asked Regions to submit their budgets by mid October 2010 and preliminary accounts for the year by the end of the following January. During 2010 accounts held by our North West, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for 2009 were audited. In 2011 accounts held by South East, Yorkshire and Midlands will have their 2010 accounts audited.
The PCS has continued to play its part in NPC activity. The union was represented at the annual Pensioners Parliament and we also purchased a small space in the exhibition area. The PCS Pension Service Group worked closely with ARMs on the occasion of the Annual Parliament where PCS also sponsored a small reception to highlight the PCS Jobs & Services Campaign.
Good relations have also been built up between the union and the NPC at national level. The PCS General Secretary and other colleagues have met NPC officers several times over the year to continue joint working and has appeared on a number of joint platforms; the PCS also affiliated nationally to NPC. The PCS has also publicised the NPC scheme for individual contributions from members and took part in a national demonstration on April 10th 2010 under the banner of “Defending the Welfare State & Public Services”.
During 2010, we published 4 issues of the ARMs Newsletter; in February, April, July/August and November. These were all produced in full colour. The new method of production is cost effective, especially as our production timetable fits in with the publication of PCS View.
During the year a number of Regions also issued Newsletters in the ARMs Newsletter and on the PCS website.
Pensions – The National Committee has continued to keep abreast of developments in Civil Service pensions and the ongoing issues around state pensions and has passed on views to the NEC for consideration and information.