Marie McDonough DWP

For DWP Vice President

I have been a member of PCS and its predecessor unions for over 40 years in DHSS,DSS, BA and now DWP.

I am an experienced rep and have held elected positions in my union branch for 23 years.

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 across society.

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 continue to support all members to the best of my ability.

I have occupied roles within my region of Equality Officer, Regional Organiser and had a period of elected Chair which was an honour to support the NE branches.

I am currently facility time lead in my region and also negotiate at a regional level for the NE alongside YH comrades with management in our area.

My first Group role was election to 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. Sadly Covid has seen an increase in casework and I am proud to be trusted by members in this area to help them move through difficult periods of their lives.

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

After a couple of years on the GEC I was elected to 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 in the efforts because of the determination to protect our union. It will always stay with me how the whole union pulled together to defeat the attack but especially the massive task our reps took on and organised within attaining excellent results.

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 proud to have been a Group Vice President since 2019 and responsibilities have included leading on Organising and learning alongside the Group effectively joining Organisers, Equality Officers and Learning Officers together to work on recruitment, mapping, and supporting our reps.

I am proud to have trained and mentored new reps across PCS and due to the current Covid restrictions being part of the initial developiment of digital inductions, new rep and personal case packages to deliver via the GEC on a much more regular base virtually.

My VP responsibilities have also included heading up the CMG team on negotiations alongside the Asst Sec. and my current VP responsibilities include working with four elected assistant secretaries across operations chairing Retirement Services Directorate, Customer Experience Directorate, UC, Working Age and Work and Health Directorates meetings with management. Chairing the various advisory committees related to the directorates and drawing information from reps and branches via Tu Ops ensuring all information relayed to us and all issues can be quickly consulted on effectively and resolved.

The team also consults on terms and conditions and safety for our members whilst campaigning for permanent jobs and the correct staffing to undertake DWP job roles and public service protection at every opportunity.

I am also part of the DWP pay team which can be frustrating because of the latest pay restraint set by the Treasury and have a place within the group campaign committee working alongside other Group officers and Group President.

Covid has meant the constant demand via the LU led GEC for safety for all our members and we have tirelessly worked for our members. Many membes meetings have taken place and I was proud to chair the largest ever PCS FB Live/Zoom event on JC safety and Well-being in December 2021.

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.

The amount of work and commitment the GEC has shown in the last two years 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 2022 and consider voting for them as a great team moving forward in strength to work and protect members in DWP.

This team if elected will ensure that we continue to put our members terms, conditions, pay and safety at the front of all negotiations and will campaign to protect the public services we deliver promoting a safe fair equal society for all.

Thank you