For DWP Vice President
I am seeking election to the position of Group Vice-President in the forthcoming PCS DWP Group election. I have been an active member of PCS and its predecessor union, CPSA, for 38 years and have been involved in numerous campaigns in that time. I have been involved in every level of the union from office representative, Branch Treasurer, Branch Secretary, Scotland Committee Chair, Group Executive Committee (GEC) and Group Assistant Secretary. I have also been a member of the National Executive Committee since 2012. Hopefully this demonstrates my commitment to representing members at every level over a long period of time and shows that I have the experience to help members at an office level as well as in national negotiations with the employer. For the past year I have had the absolute privilege to be able to serve PCS members in DWP in the role of Group Assistant Secretary with responsibility for Universal Credit (Service Centres and Jobcentres), Strategic Resourcing and Scottish Social Security.
I am proud to be part of a Left Unity leadership of the DWP GEC that has demonstrated time and time again over many years that we always put the members first. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic I, along with my GEC Left Unity colleagues, have worked tirelessly to ensure that PCS members in the workplaces are protected and that all safety measures have been put in place. We have robustly challenged the employer at every occasion on staff working from home being mandated to return to the office at a time when the pandemic is still prevalent in society. We have demanded that Jobcentres are only open to the most vulnerable in society and that every DWP member of staff should have access to Hybrid Working and not only Back of House colleagues. We have forcibly challenged the employer on issues of well-being and pressures facing Work Coaches in Jobcentres.
I am proud to have been part of a negotiating team that over the past 12 months has made a number of significant gains for members including:
- Winning permanent jobs for 6,000 AO Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) and temporary staff
- Winning 2,000 jobs for Brook Street agency workers
- Winning 100% sick pay for Brook Street workers
- Successfully campaigning on staffing and securing 13,500 new EO Work Coaches and 4,000 back of house AO’s
- Securing safe working from home for thousands of members in Back of House roles
Despite all of this, there is a lot more to be achieved and that includes securing Hybrid Working for Front of House staff, easing the pressure on Jobcentre staff, who have faced unreasonable and unachievable demands on the number of face-to-face appointments they conduct on a daily basis and securing permanent jobs for all FTA staff.