Marie McDonough

I have been a member of PCS and its predecessor unions for almost 40 years and a Union rep for over 20 now starting in the DHSS, DSS, BA and now the DWP.

I come from a background of socialism and equality and I am proud that my mother was a union rep fighting for and achieving equal pay for women in the shipyards before changing her career into social work working in Children’s care.

My father was an active member of his union all his working life into his retirement and was very proud and supportive of my activism.

My husband is currently a GMB rep and HS rep in his workplace so I have a very good and wide understanding of morality and a sense of equality for all on all levels across diverse areas.

My history in PCS began as a site rep, HS rep and ULR. I am a trained personal case rep and undertake many cases within all categories and have an excellent success rate in supporting our members in the workplace up to ET level which is a passion of mine that I will always strive to undertake.

I have undertaken roles within my region of Equality Officer, Regional Organiser and finally had a period of elected Chair which was an honour to support the branches and I am currently facility time lead in my region.

I first was elected at a Group level onto the GWAC- Group Womens Advisory Committee- working alongside other female reps proactively supporting women via seminars, advice and guidance. I helped to write the ‘Maternity and Pregnancy pack ‘and supported women via a ‘Women’s Health pack’. I am a trained Domestic Violence rep and am in contact with the Police and Crime Commissioners office via a database to support women in and out of the workplace.

By working on the GWAC I was empowered to stand for election to the GEC.

After a couple of years on the GEC I stood for Group Organiser and was proud to work with branches, regions and FTO’S during the massive ‘checkoff campaign’ effectively ensuring that PCS converted its members to direct debit to stop the attack launched upon us by the Government to try and bankrupt us into submission. I will always be proud of how PCS and the DWP LU led GEC handled that campaign and was extremely successful.

Being Group Organiser was a natural progression from Regional Organiser and I continued to work with 9 regions and 2 Countries in formulating a group action plan and following targets on recruitment, increasing the number of reps, cleansing our records effectively and training and supporting new activists and advocates.

The Organiser role also included learning and I actively worked with all officers to ensure a lifelong learning programme was available to all and negotiated with ER for official duty for collaborative working to offset the lapsing learning agreement that the DWP refused to cooperate with after the introduction of the imposed facility time agreement.

I am currently elected as a Vice President in DWP and one of my responsibilities is to lead on Organising and learning still alongside our Group Organiser. Together we have effectively joined the Organisers, Equality Officers and Learning Officers into one team and one Organising Community Plan to ensure that everyone works together on recruitment, mapping, and supporting our reps.

Over the years I have trained dozens of new reps across PCS in New rep training and personal case training and due to the current Covid restrictions am happy to say that we have digital induction, new rep and personal case packages to deliver via the GEC to keep our work ongoing. Work is currently underway to make those packages available monthly to all those that need them virtually so this will enhance our ability to train new activists.

Since being elected as a VP my responsibilities have also included heading up the CMG team on negotiations alongside Steve Swainston Asst Sec. Many successes have been achieved including the progression lists being reopened and members achieving their promotion. Meetings and consultation is a main part of the role currently and along with Steve and the CMG advisory information relayed to us we always ensure that terms and conditions and safety are paramount alongside highlighting staffing requirements at every opportunity.

Covid has meant the constant demand via the LU led GEC for safety for all our members and we have done exactly that in our negotiations ensuring IT KIT is being deployed at a rapid pace in CMG.

What this GEC has achieved during Covid has constantly made me proud to be a part of a team that takes the issues to the employer and ensures safety for our staff.

This GEC was not afraid of balloting our members and achieving a high percentage of members willing to support demands on safety in the JC and SC environment. I was very proud that my own branch, after consultation by zoom meetings with JC members, stood fast in that campaign and by doing so gave our negotiators strength in their negotiations for safety that was achieved for all.

Because of the brave stance taken concessions on safety for our staff was won by a dedicated team of negotiators I am proud to work with as LU members.

The amount of work and commitment the GEC has shown this year will never be surpassed in my opinion. The amount of members bulletins and branch briefings that are constantly required to update on the position and inform on negotiations, wins and improvements is massive. The team has been dedicated and passionate about protecting our members terms conditions and safety.

I am proud to have played my part in that and I am very proud to be part of a LU led GEC.

I ask that you read all the statements of those standing for election and re-election in 2021 and consider voting for them as a great team moving forward in strength.


Full Left Unity DWP nomination list

Click on the image to Download