Joining instructions are in the email that you've been sent.
This will be via ZOOM, which you will have to download. Then send the instructions to your email address or mobile phone and click on the link in the email that you've been sent. Please encourage your work colleagues to join.
Click https://pcs.zoom.us/j/8066788746?pwd=M0FtU3pPKzF1Q2tyckxub2R6WTJOUT09 to start or join a scheduled Zoom meeting
Any queries to Mike Hepworth please
Regards, Michael Hepworth, Branch Secretary
Want to get more involved in PCS? Attend your PCS branch annual general meeting, have your say and get active in your union.
The branch AGM, which is held between now and early March, is at the heart of our union’s democracy. It’s where annual and financial reports are agreed, election results announced, motions debated, conference delegates elected and nominations and motions for group and national conference and elections considered.
It is important to attend because not only are key decisions being made, but you can really see how the union works and get involved. Obviously because of the pandemic most AGMs will take place virtually this year.
All members have the right to attend and take part, and ask questions about the committee’s annual or financial reports, or other issues.
Elections are held before the AGM for branch officers and branch executive committee (BEC) members. Sometimes branch structures and policies differ slightly, but each BEC will have a chair, secretary, organiser and treasurer. The branch may elect other branch reps covering local workplaces, as well as specific roles that typically include health and safety, union learning, environmental rep, equalities and young members.
To find out how to put yourself forward, talk to your local reps and look out for notices from your branch officers ahead of the meeting.
Any members who go along to the AGM are also directly involved in electing which delegates will go to PCS group and national conferences, which will also be held virtually this, as well as delegates to other bodies in which the branch participates. AGMs can also vote to nominate people who want to stand in PCS’s group and national elections (GEC and NEC).
Branches are encouraged to nominate members from under-represented groups including:
- Young members,
- And LGBT+ members.
The meeting will also consider motions being put forward on key issues and campaigns at branch, group or national level. Motions can be on branch or workplace issues, group issues or on national issues for the annual delegate conference. Those agreed will then be dealt with by the BEC, or submitted for debate at the group and national conferences.
Talk to your local rep, branch officers, or regional PCS office, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us why you’re going to your AGM and why you feel it’s important to get involved and have your say, email email@example.com
PCS is calling on the UK Civil Service to urgently instruct all UK government workers, contractors and agency staff to work from home wherever they can as the latest national lockdown measures are introduced.
Following the new lockdown measures, we demanded that everyone should be allowed to work from home where possible. That simple message should be immediately cascaded to all those who work in the UK Civil Service as well as contractors and agency staff.
Yesterday, we and the other public sector unions had a virtual meeting with Cabinet Office officials who said they would consider instructing all civil servants to work from home wherever possible. We are meeting again tomorrow to discuss the details of the measures the civil service should urgently take to ensure all work by UK government workers, contractors and agency staff can now be done from home unless it is demonstrably not possible to do so.
We are calling for all tribunals and courts currently open to the public to be shut. We know that courts and tribunals can operate digitally. And in the case of jobcentres we fully accept that a limited service to vulnerable people should continue but that is all. Services provided to the public such as driving tests must be paused.
As a matter of urgency, we request that the civil service reviews those areas where the mass roll-out of IT kit has not happened, for example in the DVLA, and to put arrangements in place so that work can be done from home.
In relation to DVLA, we know that the contact centre has the highest infection rates in the agency, in an area (South Wales) which has some of the highest rates in the world. Therefore, the contact centre should be immediately shut down.
A number of departments, for example MHCLG, DVLA and DEFRA are in the process of opening new or existing offices. That of course should stop.
All governments now say that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work. Therefore, these staff should be instructed to either work from home or, if they cannot, be put on special leave with pay. We are proposing further that all clinically vulnerable staff should also be placed on special leave with pay if they cannot work at home.
Special leave with pay should be given to parents where childcare has been disrupted owing to school closures. Also, if key/critical workers require children to be at schools so that they can work from home, this should be facilitated.
All those working on civil service contracts, including facilities management staff, should receive the same Covid-related consideration as civil servants. Such staff should receive full pay if they have to self-isolate for any reason.
The current lockdown should also be used to carry out a review of risk assessments for all staff and contract staff in each workplace, in light of the new strain of the virus.
Not a PCS member? Join online today for protection at work.
Following the new lockdown measures, we are demanding that everyone should be allowed to work from home where possible.
PCS is demanding an urgent meeting with the Cabinet Office to change the policy in the civil service to one where everyone should work at home unless it is impossible to do so. This is in line with the prime minister’s announcement on 4 January about the new lockdown measures which are in place in England from today (5). Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also in full lockdown with similar measures in place and we will be arguing for the same policies regarding working from home.
We are also demanding that private sector workers such as cleaners and other facilities staff should continue to be paid if they are unable to work as usual.
The policy of getting staff back into workplaces, as shown by the case of the DVLA contact centre, among others, has already proved dangerous to staff, and given the current situation of a full lockdown we will argue that the health and safety of our members is of primary importance.
Our demands echo those made during the previous full lockdown last year and we will argue that civil servants have proved that they can still deliver a full and efficient service while staying safe in their own homes.