The PCS Young Members Committee has put together the below motion for members to take to their AGMs in order to raise Young Member issues and get it on the Conference agenda. Though many branches deadlines may have passed, we ask that reps & activists raise it at their AGM where possible so can get a mandate from branches to take our strategy and work further over the coming months. The motion can also be downloaded here.
“Young people throughout society continue to disproportionately face the brunt of austerity. Youth unemployment continues to stagnant at one million whilst those in work are more likely to be low paid and on a temporary or zero hour contract. Within the civil service they face declining wages, harsher terms & conditions and a Civil Service Performance Management system that consistently discriminates against young people. Not content with this, all three parties are looking at further proposals for austerity, education cuts and the slashing of benefits, including removing housing benefit to under 25s, which will only intensify the situation young people are facing.
Within the civil service, a freeze on recruitment and an ageing civil service has reduced the number of potential young people we can organise. Yet, every year we continue to train new up new activists and for every young rep we lose, we often find another to replace them showing that the PCS continues to lead the way in recruiting, developing and organising young people. Though it maybe more difficult to continue to do this, it only means we have to try harder than ever to focus on the young people in our workplaces and recruit them to our cause.
Not only do we need to do this within our own union, but also broaden the struggle across the TUC and beyond. The TUC this year launched the first ever Young Workers Month after sustained lobbying from the PCS & other unions. Though this is a good start, it needs to go further for an all year round youth campaign, organised and led by young people.
We also face the difficulty that this generation is the first in which its unlikely to know much about unions apart from what is publicised by the media and politicians. We have a responsibility as a union to educate young people in the rich history of the struggles and victories of our movement and should ensure we doing this alongside our other training programmes.
Conference resolves to:
- Include in any organising plan the aim for a young member on every Branch Executive & Regional Committee
- Support the 10th Anniversary of the Young Members Network and update of the PCS Young Members Charter to reflect the changing situation in the workplace for young people
- To make political education a component of training young reps
- To support and be actively involved in the TUC Young Workers Month and campaign for the TUC to implement it fully and lobby for a young member led national Youth Campaign”