Building Power Through Diversity
PCS Needs to Change
Simply put, we cannot afford to stay the same. Of course anti-union laws make it more difficult to organise industrial action ballots. But that cannot be an excuse for not engaging enough of our members. Our members deserve, demand and want a pay rise. Civil and public service workers still bear the brunt of austerity. The grinding down of union power over decades means we need fundamental change so that we can reignite confidence in the power of our collective strength. Unless we are prepared to be bold and prioritise having a strike-ready membership above all else, we will not win.
Building a strike ready membership means having all workers in the union. Right now, that’s not the case. The untapped potential of tens of thousands of civil and public servants and government contract workers who are not in a union must be targeted and won to PCS. The diversity of the workforce must acknowledged and included in our industrial action strategies if we want all workers to participate. If elected, I pledge to help transform our membership base to strengthen our strike-readiness. Part of that transformation begins by increasing the participation of under-represented groups within our union structure.
Strength in Diversity
PCS has 60% women members, but women only hold 45% of our workplace reps positions. Only 33% of our NEC are women, 31% of our GEC members are women and only 32% of delegates to our annual delegate conference were women. The NEC is now consulting on a rule change to ensure at least 50% of our NEC are women.
With women, young, black, disabled and LGBT+ workers hit the hardest by pay cuts, under-representation in decision-making at all levels of our union is simply unacceptable. It’s also a huge weakness, unless we improve diversity and inclusion in ur democracys, then we will not be able to build the united fighting union that we need. Barriers to participation must be removed.
If elected, I pledge to develop a mentoring programme throughout our structures to encourage greater diversity in succession-planning. This would include a young member shadowing the AGS.
A strong union needs all members represented in our structures. So let’s really put equality at the heart of everything we do.