James Meller DWP

For DWP Journal Editor

I’ve been a committed Trade Unionist since joining the DWP 30 years ago. I am an active member of PCS and of Left Unity, who I have witnessed being the strongest grouping in PCS, fighting for fairness and equal treatment, both in the workplace and in society. I currently hold positions as DWP Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Branch Secretary, DWP Eastern Region Secretary, Vice Chair of PCS Eastern Region Committee and am one of the DWP Operational TUS Secretaries.

I have been proud to work alongside leading members in Left Unity at DWP Group level to pursue our shared aims. I have been part of a determined campaign fought on numerous fronts; on Health and Safety, on pay, on pensions, against Civil Service Compensation Scheme cuts, against proposals to cut staffing and our estate and to improve the welfare system to better support the lives of the public we deliver our vital services to.

I appreciate that to achieve all of these goals will require the backing and support of our membership across the country. To achieve this, it is vital to strengthen our organisation and membership density in areas that are currently less well supported. Without maximising support on a nationwide basis, it will be harder to achieve those goals. I am an activist working in a traditionally Conservative part of the country, where the public are less supportive of trade unions and both members and non-members often have different priorities to those from areas that are traditionally more supportive of what we are trying to achieve. I want to be part of a Left Unity led GEC and work with them to ensure there is a clear understanding of the levels of support in these areas and what we need to do to improve this, get our messages across and to get this work done. If we can maximise support from these areas, we can improve our turn outs by a few percentage points, which will in turn provide PCS with the extra leverage that will help us achieve our goals for all of our members.

I’m now seeking election to be part of the DWP GEC as Journal Editor to continue to fight for fairness for members and in society. The PCS Voice is an important tool for communicating with our members to show what we are doing to achieve this and to target our campaigns to the right people at the right time.

The Left Unity leadership has continued to lead the fight for members’ Health and Safety during the pandemic, setting the agenda at discussions with management and delivering membership meetings attended by hundreds of members,keeping them updated and using feedback to force the employer to take steps to reduce footfall over the festive period and to delay the imposition of hybrid working for back of house staff and who continue to demand action from the Government over pay.

It is the same Left Unity leadership that has managed to force the employer to offer the opportunity to Brook Street employees to convert to DWP employees and to make 6,000 Fixed Term Contract AO jobs permanent. It will continue to fight for EOs and the remaining FTC AOs jobs to be made permanent. It will fight against any proposals to close our estate and will argue for the redeployment of all staff where buildings do close and against compulsory redundancies.

If elected I will continue to work with the GEC to continue to fight for members on all of these important issues.