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PCS Credit Union

As you may know PCS has a Credit Union.

The official definition of a credit union is
A financial co-operative owned and run by its members offering convenient savings products and low cost loans. Credit Unions are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and operate within a statutory framework.

The big benefit for members is the ability to secure low costs loans independently of the High Street banks and much more cheaply that the loan companies advertised on TV or indeed the loan sharks! To operate effectively however, just like the banks, it needs people to put some money in.

Only PCS members (and their household family members) are eligible to join so if a colleague finds out about this, is interested and isnít a PCS member maybe now is the time to ask them to join!

There are a number of products such as a monthly savings account, a deposit account, a Christmas savings club, a summer holiday savings club, ethical payday loans and standard loans.

More details are available on the PCS Website
Or by ringing 0207 927 2727 option 7
Or e-mail creditunion@pcs.org.uk.

The credit union also has a Facebook page.

National strike on 15 October
PCS To Join 72 Hours Of Action In Public Sector

The PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) decided that a national strike will be called on Wednesday, 15 October 2014. The action will be coordinated with unions representing workers in the health service which have announced action on Monday, 13 October, and with unions in local government which have announced a strike on 14 October so that there will be 3 consecutive days of strike action over pay in the public sector.

Strike action is a last resort, but the government introduced a 2-year pay freeze in 2010 and in recent years has imposed a 1% pay cap for all public sector workers.

Unison members working in the NHS in England will strike for fair pay on 13 October for four hours from 7am to 11am.

This will be followed by four days of action short of a strike, on Tuesday 14 October to Friday 17 October. This action will focus on making sure members take their breaks.

Our action on October 15 follows the successful day of action on 10 July when joint action took place with other public sector workers. Now we are stepping up the campaign with 72 hours of strike action in October aimed at securing a fair settlement.

The strike on October 15 will not include PCS members in Scotland working in bodies falling under the jurisdiction of Scottish Government ministers where we are working with colleagues in Unison Scotland to build for joint action aimed at tackling the Scottish pay gap.

Pay Your Subs By Direct Debit Before It's Too Late

To All Members
To those of you who have already done this, apologies for pestering you again and thanks for taking the time to give your details.
To those of you who haven?t please read on!

The government has decided that PCS subscriptions will in future no longer be taken from salary (a process called check off). It is therefore important that people provide their bank details so they can continue to pay their subs by direct debit. Once PCS has those details they will hold on to them until it is clear what date the payments will cease coming out of people?s wages. So for example:
At present you pay your subs out of your wages which go in on the last working day of the month. Banks don?t work like that so the direct debit will come out on a set date of 1st of every month.
So for example if the last deduction from salary was in October?s pay which members would get on 31st October the first direct debit would be 1st December as by then they will have their November salary in the bank.

There is no point in people delaying giving their details, it?s now clear that check off will end soon and PCS is committed to switching to direct debit (DD). If by the time the change is made PCS has everyone?s details on file it?s a relatively easy transition. If on the other hand around 250,000 members all fill forms in at once that will clog the system up and it?s more likely problems will arise.

That?s why members need to sign up as soon as possible. The attached form gives details of how you can do this.

Any queries please get in touch or speak to you local rep.

To arrange a DD for your subs visit the PCS website.

Pay 2014 - PCS Rejects the DWP 2014 Pay Offer

Following the conclusion of talks DWP have now published their pay offer for 2014 The main points of the offer are:

  • A 1 % consolidated increase to all staff
  • No pay progression
  • A 3% increase on the AA minimum
  • No non consolidated payments to staff with a ?must Improve? box marking
  • No increase at all for staff with both a must improve marking and who have commenced formal poor performance action during the 3013/14 year

PCS DWP Group has rejected this derisory offer on behalf of members. There will not be a separate pay ballot in DWP as members are already being asked to vote across the civil service on a notional campaign which includes pay. DWP has granted 30 minutes time for members to have meetings on pay please look out for the date of your meeting.

Steve Bramhill
Branch Secretary

Leaving DWP?

Up to 2,000 DWP staff are due to leave in the near future on various exit schemes. The PCS Associate and Retired Members (ARMs) is a way that PCS members leaving the DWP can stay in their Union for less than 50p per week.

By reataining your PCS membership as an ARMs member you continue enjoy membership benefits and continue to have a collective voice on those things that affect your everyday life.

Before leaving or retiring from work why not see your local PCS representative for an application form or for more details.

Remember that things you look forward to in retirement, such as pensions and benefits, are not fixed in stone. A fair state pension linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI), an end to fuel poverty and good social care provision ? free at the point of need and funded by the state through taxation. These are all things that ARM?s fight?s for as well as defending the NHS against further cuts and privatisation.

ARMs members are already playing an important role in supporting the national campaign, including political lobbying and other campaign activity.

For more information and to download the ARMs membership application form please visit the "About ARMs" page on the PCS website.

Garston Strike Well Supported

95% of PCS members at Garston Contact Centre in Liverpool supported a one strike today Friday 16 May to fight the proposed closure of their office and forced transfer to Bootle or Birkenhead.
Around 30 pickets including several ordinary members made a lively picket line.

Members are angry because management say they need to close the office to save money but they have not taking into account the needs of the staff. Garston, Bootle and Birkenhead are not offices next door to one another. Most members will face difficult journeys and even management accept that a good number of staff are outside their contractual mobility for both offices.

Over a 1,000 DWP jobs have been cut in Liverpool and many members at Garston are only there because they had to move there when DWP shut Liverpool Pensions and Liverpool Call centres.

For some staff closing Garston would mean their second and in some cases third forced transfer due to cuts and office closures over the last decade.

The DWP Group Executive Committee (GEC) has opposed the closure and pressed management to make the Workforce Management Redeployment Package (this provides staff with additional support to facilitate transfers outside of mobility) available. PCS also pressed for Excess fares to be extended to 5 years and for staff to be allowed to move to other nearby by offices. Management have not budged so far on any of these measures that would help PCS members at Garston Management say this is a lift and drop of the work but you can?t lift and drop people, especially when they have health, family and travel problems. The GEC say this is a closure too far.

PCS continues to be ready and available to talk but DWP must offer much more help to staff affected.

Great Deal on Mobile Phone Contracts

PCS Members can get a great deal on mobile phone contracts and support our campaigns thanks to a new partnership with The People's Operator and are being offered special discounts on mobile tariff plans on the TPO network. At no cost to them 10% of all spend by our members on the network will be returned to the union by TPO to help fund our campaigns.

PCS members and their families can choose from TPO?s full range of pay monthly and pay as you go packages. They can also receive one month free on the TPO unlimited £14.99 monthly deal, including unlimited standard UK mobile and landline calls, UK text messages and mobile internet browsing, subject to a fair usage policy. It's easy to switch and you can even bring your existing number with you.

PCS will use the extra funding we receive from TPO to support campaigns for members, such as: the campaigns for decent pay increases and a living wage, against the government?s plans to raise pension contributions and retirement age, and against cuts and privatisation.

Find out more about TPO and its offer for PCS members.

Voluntary Transfers to Child Maintenance Group

A week ago the DWP announced that a number of sites were to be transferred to the Child Maintenance Group (CMG). The sites and the dates for transfer are listed below:
Walsall Pension Centre (Jan to Mar 2014)
Plymouth Benefit Centre (Jan to Mar 2014)
Leicester Pension Centre (April to June 2014)
Leicester Benefit Centre (July to Sept 2014)
Coatbridge Benefit Centre (July to Sept 2014)
Newcastle Contact Centre (July to Sept 2014)
Newcastle Benefit Centre (Sept to Dec 2014)
Glasgow Springburn Contact Centre (Sept to Dec 2014)
Kilmarnock Benefit Centre (Jan to Mar 2015)
Greenock Benefit Centre (Jan to Mar 2015)

Voluntary Transfers on Merseyside
In all 2,000 staff will transfer to CMG. In addition to these transfers DWP want a further 200 people from Garston and Bootle contact centres to volunteer to move to the CMG site at Birkenhead. Clearly this puts our branch members at Garston in a better position than those at the centres who are not being offered a choice. We believe the action taken last year by Merseyside members in opposing compulsory transfers has a bearing on this decision! Management have said if they don?t get enough volunteers they?ll talk to PCS about what they plan to do to resolve that.

On top of all this there was a recent exercise to get around 17 Band B (AO) volunteers to move from the jobcentre network to CMG. We understand they?ve not found many willing to volunteer.
BEFORE you volunteer to transfer to CMG read our circular Voluntary Transfers to Child Maintenance Group.
GMG having differing terms and conditions which you may need to consider before making a decsion to volunteer.

Electronic Media - Branch Circular

The DWP Electronic Media Policy has been updated to include guidance to staff about using social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The Branch has issued some advice to those DWP staff who use social media. See
Electronic Media - Social Media Word Doc

Other Information from PCS

PCS Online

PCS logoNational PCS union online.

Follow PCS on Twitter

Twitter iconGet short, timely messages from the National PCS union on Twitter.

Join PCS on Facebook

Facebook iconJoin the PCS Union Members group on Facebook.

PCS DWP Text Message Signup

The Group Executive Committee (GEC) offer a free text service to PCS representatives and members.
The GEC will send out text messages on key group issues, campaigns, negotiations and about any industrial action or events in the group and may also send you information about PCS wide issues.

The GEC can also direct specific texts to branch secretaries, organisers and union learning reps.

To subscribe:
Just fill in your details on the DWP Website and your name will be added to the system. Please remember to specify if you wish to be included in the texts for branch secretaries, organisers or union learning reps.
There is NO charge to receive these texts, this service is absolutely free to PCS members !!!

PCS National Text Message and e_newsletter Signup

You can also sign up to text alerts and an e-newsletter from PCS nationally.
Visit the National website to register for this service.
There is NO charge to receive texts or e-newsletters, this service is absolutely free to PCS members !!!


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