I am asking for your support for re-election as DWP Group Assistant Secretary.
I have been privileged to serve as Group AS for the past 4 years where, having lead responsibility for HR and Equality in my pitch of work, I have been at the forefront of negotiating improvements in departmental policies such as on mental mealth, carers leave and special leave. I have pressed DWP at every stage to ensure policy change is equality impact assessed in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
I have also ensured we have kept equality issues at the heart of the Group’s bargaining agenda.
I have been a member of the Group negotiating team that has provided an active response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As our members continued to provide vital support to the public, the team fully recognised the extreme challenges that arose, whether working from the office or from home, and robustly protect your safety during this difficult and dangerous time. I am proud of the work we have done during this period.
As part of my role, I have taken lead responsibility for drafting a number of policies and helped negotiate improvements to DWP’s initial efforts, such as with the school closure/childcare policy, where our team demanded the welfare of our members children were placed at its core. This delivered real support for families and has been held up by the TUC as an example of how unions have supported workers throughout the pandemic, while employers, and government, have been found wanting.
As the data began to show that disproportionate numbers of Black and Asian communities were falling to the virus, I was instrumental in negotiating the first BAME risk assessment in the Civil Service and ensuring that it became a mandatory offer in DWP, so bringing a further layer of protection for PCS Black members.
As part of the Left Unity leadership of our Group I have taken part in key decisions such as the bold move to ballot members in Jobcentres and UC service centres. This decision, along with the support we received from our members in that campaign, was crucial to our negotiating improvements and winning important concessions from DWP.
We still have many challenges ahead, but I know an elected Left Unity leadership will continue to keep our members’ needs as our ultimate priority, and to work with you to campaign for better pay and conditions of service, as well as protecting your safety.
Please support myself and my Left Unity comrades in the group elections and give us the mandate to continue the work we have been doing on your behalf.