Kate Douglas DWP

For DWP GEC

I have been a member of PCS and, before that, CPSA for over 30 years. I first became an office rep in an unemployment benefit office in Stratford, East London. Since then I have worked in Poplar, Brighton and Oxford and have been a Branch Secretary in a couple of branches, Branch Chair, South East Regional Secretary and am privileged to have served on the GEC for the last three years.

In my time on the GEC I have helped train nearly 100 new reps and also deliver personal case training. I undertake many personal cases from my branch, region and nationally and take pleasure in getting the best possible outcome for members.

I am also part of the trade union side in negotiations and consultation at all levels within the union as, I believe, it is important to hold management to account and to win improvements for members.

Having lived in the London and the South East since I started work, I am well aware of the spiralling cost of living and the urgent importance of not only winning an inflation-busting pay rise but one that makes up for the years of below-inflation pay rises. If re-elected to the GEC, organising to win a decent pay rise will be a priority for me.

I will also continue the fight for a Welfare State that truly acts as a safety net, one that treats people with dignity and not scapegoated by the Government. I believe that the Tories will try to make the working class pay for the cost of the pandemic and that we will face many attacks in the coming months. It is already clear that billions of pounds fraudulently claimed by bosses will be written off whilst increasing sanctions on unemployed people looking for a job that actually pays the mortgage or rent. The last two years have also shown that climate change can be reversed if the will is there. In the first lock-down nature recovered incredibly quickly and pollution fell drastically. We must resist the push for “business as usual” where members spend too much of their wages and time travelling in to an office every day when they don’t need to.

In the last two years the GEC has won many concessions and safeguards for members as the Covid pandemic hit. The LU led GEC negotiated for rapid deployment of IT kit to members, Special Leave with Pay for those without kit or who’s children couldn’t go to school, absences due to Covid disregarded, flexi credits for those working in offices, a black members’ risk assessment and many, many other Risk Assessments.

I am proud to be part of a GEC that has delivered so much for members and has battled the employer every day to keep members safe. I am also proud of all the reps in my Branch and Region (and every rep across the country) who have worked tirelessly, often in their own time, in order to protect members. I don’t doubt that PCS reps have saved many lives.

We face many challenges ahead as the government try to make us pay for the pandemic but, if re-elected, a LU led GEC will continue to put members’ needs and safety above all else and campaign for better conditions of service and pay.

Please ask your branch to nominate the following people for the DWP GEC at your AGM: