The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is one of the largest trade unions in the UK, with about 190,000 members.
We are organised throughout the civil service and government agencies, making us the UK’s largest civil service trade union. We also organise widely in the private sector, usually in areas that have been privatised.
We are a democratic organisation, run by our members, for our members. We campaign for fair pay and conditions, decent pensions for all and equality in the workplace and beyond. If you're not a member of PCS, there's never been a better time to join the union.
New Campaign Campaigns
Scrap Child Maintenance Service ChargesIn June 2014, the Government introduced charges for using the Child Maintenance Service. To apply for a maintenance assessment it costs £20.00, with no guarantee any maintenance will ever be received. To then have the maintenance collected, more charges are imposed on both parents. The paying parent pays an extra 20% on top of their maintenance assessment and the receiving parent has a further 4% of their maintenance deducted. This means on an assessment of £100, the paying parent actually pays £120 and the receiving parent only gets £96, with the government taking a total of £24, not including the application fee. So far the charges have totalled over £8.5 million and are rising to a staggering £1 million per month. This money should be supporting the future of children and going towards essentials such as clothes, healthy food, books, education and heating. The charges are designed as a deterrent for using the Child Maintenance Service and it is feared that thousands of children are not receiving maintenance as a result. Even the government’s own research predicted 100,000 fewer parents would make maintenance arrangements because of the introduction of charges. Where maintenance is received it is often at a lower amount, either because parents feel pressured to accept a lower payment rather than use the Child Maintenance Service and face charges, or because they use the service and have money deducted by the government. The new system also puts extra pressure on relationships between parents, particularly when there is a history of abuse and/or violence. Studies have shown how essential child maintenance is for lifting the growing number of children living in poverty out of that desperate and disadvantaged situation. The charges are due to be reviewed at the end of the year so now is the time to call on the government to end this unfair tax on single parent families. Sign the petition asking the Minister for the Department of Work and Pensions to end all charges for the use of the Child Maintenance Service.341 of 400 SignaturesCreated by Rachel Hickman
Stop privatisation of Defence Business ServicesVeterans’ welfare, armed forces pensions and the handling of casualty notifications are all at risk as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to privatise its shared services organisation – Defence Business Services (DBS). DBS employs over 2,200 people and is responsible for MoD armed forces and civilian pay, pensions and HR, delivering welfare to 900,000 veterans and their dependents, handling casualty notifications and administration 24 hours a day, UK wide security vetting and making payments to all defence suppliers. MoD’s track record with private companies in DBS generates some big concerns. In 2012, Serco and Accenture were brought in as management partners where they were paid for running the organisation but additionally received 40p for every pound saved via ‘efficiency gains’. This led to reckless cuts, asset stripping and manipulating of performance measures in a profit grabbing frenzy. In many areas of DBS, jobs were cut to generate a saving (and profit for Serco and Accenture) but were then reinstated at a later date. When the Serco-Accenture contract was brought to an end this year, it was hoped that common sense had prevailed. Yet now the MoD want to go one step further by fully privatising the running of DBS. The MoD argue that this will bring them savings but history tells another story. Instead, it will result in cuts to services, putting those who rely on DBS, like veterans, MoD staff and army personnel at risk. It could also open the door to offshoring of work and defence sensitive data as companies seek to maximise profits. The alarm bells don’t stop there. A recent National Audit Office report has revealed that privatisations of other shared services across Whitehall has failed to deliver value for money to taxpayers, with long delays and rising costs. DBS is one of the largest and most complex shared services organisations in Europe, carrying out sensitive and critical services to the MoD, its staff, the armed forces and veterans. The MoD should safeguard this by keeping DBS public.1,334 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Rachel Hickman