PCS wants all union members to get involved in their union. There are many ways that you can get involved and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time.
It is important that as many union members as possible go to these and make sure that their views are heard.
It is also PCS policy to positively encourage more young members, women, members from ethnic minorities, members with disabilities and gay and lesbian members to get involved.
This is because these members are under represented. For example – 70% of PCS members are women but only 33% of PCS reps are women. PCS wants to be a union where the union reps are fully representative of our membership.
Being a PCS rep in your workplace is not as complicated as you might think.
The main jobs of a rep are to listen to members and make sure that their views are represented, to keep members informed and to tell new staff about the union and ask them to join.
As you gain experience and confidence you can get more involved in dealing with management and helping members with problems if you want to. You would get time off work and full support and training from PCS.
You don’t have to give up too much time. You can help, get involved and keep yourself up to date about what is going on by just being a contact point or a distributor and giving out some union circulars in your work area. You will get time off away from your desk to do this.
PCS has a young member’s network. All branches are being asked to elect a young members rep. If you are 27 or under and have ideas about building a better union this could be for you.
PCS campaigns on a wide range of equality issues. If you are interested ask about getting involved as a branch equality rep or helping on equality issues.
In the DWP there are equality committees for women, black members, gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender members to advise the union on policy.
If you want to get involved in one of these all you need to do is get a nomination at your branch AGM.
These equality advisory committees are then elected by the union conference. Usually there are not enough nominations and PCS will be pleased that you want to use your experience to help on these issues.
Union heath and safety reps do a really important job. Carrying out workplace inspections and risk assessments. You would have to be trained. You get time off for training.
Union learning reps get time off to help staff develop and take up learning opportunities. ULR’s cover everything from basic skills to computer skills and CV writing. They also help to recruit non members to join PCS. It’s a really interesting part of the work done by PCS.
Maybe you don’t want to get too involved. You can still play a really important part in your union by just being an active member.
We want you to – attend union meetings and have your say, join in picket lines during disputes, tell your reps about problems in your office and ask what you can do to help.