PCS wants to hear what work coaches have to say. The new PCS Digital Communications Project team has launched an online survey to better understand the needs of these civil servants.
Work coaches at the DWP have always been key workers, helping jobseekers get back into work. But with coronavirus and the resulting economic insecurity, the essential role of the work coach has been brought further into the spotlight. The role is seen to be so pivotal to the UK’s recovery that the Department for Work and Pensions hired 4,500 work coaches last October, with a further 9,000 expected to be recruited by the end of this month.
Employment minister Mims Davies has said: “Work coaches are at the forefront of our national recovery and will be there for jobseekers striving to get back on their feet.”
And she’s right. But work coaches also need to look out for each other during this dangerous time.
Whether it’s social distancing in the workplace, adequate PPE, issues around taking sick leave, or stress and mental health, work coaches have a great number of challenges to confront at work. That’s why 2,400 work coaches have joined PCS, the civil service union, in the last year.
And we want to hear what matters to those work coaches, and also what matters to those work coaches that haven’t yet joined PCS. That’s why we’re launching a survey for all DWP work coaches. We want to hear what work coaches have to say, whether they are union members or not.
The survey only takes 6-8 minutes, and you don’t need to find lots of information to fill it in. We just want to hear what matters to you.
If you are a work coach, please complete our survey and share it with all of your work coach colleagues.
We are urging PCS members to get involved in the campaign to scrap the public sector pay freeze and fight for fair pay on payday this Friday (26).
We are supporting the TUC mass rally for a workers’ budget at 7.30pm on Tuesday (2) ahead of Wednesday’s budget where chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to confirm a pay freeze for millions of public sector workers.
As the pandemic rages, unemployment rises and thousands of people are forced to work in unsafe conditions. We support the call for a pay rise for all our key workers. For safe workplaces and decent sick pay for all. For decent jobs for everyone – and fair funding for our precious NHS and public services.
On Friday, we are holding meetings for members who work at the Cabinet Office at noon, and Canary Wharf at 4.30pm, with PCS President Fran Heathcote. There is also a Nottingham lunchtime activists’ open town committee meeting at 1.30pm.
We are also encouraging members to get active in PCS by lobbying their MP on pay – email the campaigns team firstname.lastname@example.org for help with this – and attend your branch AGM to hear updates on the campaign.
We are also planning to launch a campaign e-action to send a message to the government about pay.
Sign the TUC petition calling for a pay rise for all key workers.
Tell us how a pay freeze will affect you, email email@example.com
The country can’t afford a pay rise at the moment
In the third in a series of myth-busting articles as part of the PCS pay campaign we look at the claim that the country can’t afford a pay rise at the moment and our members and other key public sector workers should be happy to have a job.
Think-tank the New Economics Foundation says that a public sector pay rise is both affordable and will play an important role in retention, recruitment and Covid recovery.
The NEF's head of economics, Lydia Prieg, has said: "Key workers play a vital role in our communities and have held our economy together throughout this crisis.
“Our analysis shows that public sector pay rises are not only a just reward for the workers protecting us on the frontline, but they will also boost demand and strengthen the economy in a time of recession.
"It should be a no-brainer for government. Paying our public sector workers properly can help us through this crisis and support our economic recovery on the other side. But it is vital that this is new money, and not making further demands on stretched departmental budgets."
Kam Gill from the TUC wrote in a blog post that plans for a public sector pay freeze were a “hugely regressive step” by the government.
“Public sector workers have already suffered from almost a decade of low and lost pay,” he wrote.
“We need them to earn a decent wage that recognises the vital work they do and helps promote growth in the economy.”
Public sector workers have already suffered from almost a decade of low and lost pay.
After 2010 their pay was frozen, and then capped so that any increases in pay stayed well behind rises in the cost of living.
TUC analysis found that some public sector workers have lost as much as £3,000 from the value of their wages.
And he made the crucial point that: “When demand in the economy is low, because people have less money so can’t buy as much as they would otherwise, increased spending power translates into more demand and so more money going into local economies.
“Key workers have earned their pay rise. Attempts to make them pay for the pandemic are unjust. But they’re also unnecessary. We can afford to pay our key workers a decent wage and its time we did just that.”
PCS is launching a campaign action for every member to email the chancellor directly before the budget, members will be emailed about this in the next few days. Taking this action will be a theme of our Fair Pay Day activities on Friday (26).
We are also working closely with the TUC on a series of events across the country where Conservative MPs have agreed to directly meet public sector workers to hear their concerns. PCS members are speaking at some of these meetings alongside colleagues from other unions.
On the eve of the budget at 6pm on 2 March, the TUC is holding a mass rally for a workers' budget and PCS is encouraging all activists to attend this as the campaign steps up.
If you want to get more involved in the pay campaign and want to help by lobbying your own MP email firstname.lastname@example.org
Not a member? Join online today.