Chris Baugh is the Assistant General Secretary of the PCS and is written a guest blog in support of the PCS Young Workers Week:
PCS Young Members week is a vital part of the union’s activities and is testament to the quality and commitment of the growing young members network. It shows the way for trade unions to recruit and involve the millions of young people who can bring a much needed vitality to a trade union movement that needs to recognise and use its power to fight so called Austerity. There’s no austerity for the super rich where according to the Sunday Times Rich list the richest 1,000 individuals in Britain today have seen their wealth increase since the Financial Crash in 2008 to the tune of £180 billion. This is enough to pay off the entire UK budget deficit and they would still pocket around £40 billion. Osborne’s ‘we are all in this together’ stands as one of the most fraudulent claims ever made by a UK politician.
Young members in PCS suffer a double threat forced by the Government’s programme of pay freeze, cuts, worsening conditions and privatisation. Young members earn the lowest pay, work in the most stressful conditions particularly the oppressive contact centres, have the least job security through fixed term and scandalously the growing use of zero hour contracts, and are usually the first in line for redundancy.
Young Members week is a chance to not just highlight these threats. It’s a chance to recruit, engage and involve young members across every civil service department, public body and private employer where PCS has a presence. Through the meetings, protests, events and socials being planned is a chance to win young PCS members into activity and send a strong signal: young members are not just a vital part of this union they are its future. Collectively we can build the confidence and power of PCS to resist the austerity attacks of a government of the rich and open up a much needed debate about what sort of future we want.