Sarah Ensor

The Covid19 crisis has meant enormous challenges for PCS when we already knew we needed to renew our activist layers with new and young members.

I was elected branch Secretary of a national branch in February this year with many new branch executive committee members. As the scale of the crisis became clear in March I worked with my branch committee to move our members’ meetings online preparing for lockdown. Over 200 members joined our first meeting from our seven offices, which gave us confidence to lead demands for health and safety measures. It helped us win the “carers plans” that reduced hours but maintained full pay for our staff with caring responsibilities.

We hold fortnightly online, organisation wide meetings and other rep led online office meetings. This has raised the profile of the union, strengthened our committee and widened the network of members involved.

I have helped with campaigns to develop our network of H&S reps, Learning rep and PCS advocates and integrate these members into the wider committee.

I have been organising in the union against racism and with a small group of colleagues joined the Unite Against Fascism educational trip to Auschwitz last October. This was a breakthrough in anti-racist activity for my branch and regular campaigning meant we were able to hold an online Black Lives Matter meeting at work in May to discuss how racism affects our colleagues.

I believe all of these methods have strengthened and developed the confidence of our branch executive committee and members that the union can challenge management, win demands and grow even in very difficult circumstances. I am also active in my local town committee to get activists together to share ideas and organise. I am a member of the Socialist Workers Party and Left Unity.

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