Over 600 members attended 10 lunch time rallies across PCS regions and nations, held on Friday 29th of January. The rallies were held as part of our National Pay Campaign #FairPayDay responding to the public sector pay freeze which comes after over 10 years of austerity and pay freezes and caps.
Speakers at each rally included local MPs Chris Stephens, Chair of the PCS Parliamentary Group, Honorary Chair, John McDonnell , Zarah Sultana, Rachel Hopkins, Kate Osborne, Paula Barker, Richard Burgon, Beth Winter, Tonia Antoniazzi, Stephen Farry, Claire Hanna , Kerry McCarthy alongside the General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and National President and Vice Presidents.
I spoke at the Midlands rally where it was reported that there was a record number of attendees with 100 people present, alongside Zarah Sultana MP who spoke passionately in support of members receiving fair and equal pay and thanked members for their work through the pandemic to keep essential services running in very difficult circumstances, she encouraged members to contact their local MP in addition to their union representatives if they have concerns about covid safety at work.
I spoke about how the impacts of over ten years of austerity on our pay, meaning a pay cut in real terms and how the coronavirus pandemic has amplified existing discrimination and is impacting on both lives and livelihoods.
The PCS speakers at the rallies set out the NEC plan going forward including:
A UK wide virtual meeting in February, the launch of a members’ survey, campaign videos, myth busters, such as this one; https://www.pcs.org.uk/news/pcs-mythbuster-number-1-%E2%80%93-no-return-to-austerity and regional reps and members meetings plus involvement in the TUC public sector pay campaign including a lobby of Parliament and activities, working with other unions.
Members were encouraged to provide details of how the pay freeze had impacted on them, their families and their lives , which could be anonymised and would be used as case studies.
The meetings on Friday were just the start of our campaign and going forward there will be more opportunities for members to get involved , contribute views and we will continue to highlight the hard work in difficult circumstances all our members have done throughout the pandemic, especially those on the frontline, key workers, facilities management workers and those who have been going to workplaces physically.
Members were also encouraged to sign up for direct communications so they receive regular updates.
Zita is standing as Vice President in the NEC elections as part of the Democracy Alliance list