As a key part of the work to build the national campaign all DWP branches are urged to take part in the national campaign pay day protests and organise payday protests at the end of March and April.
Payday protests are a great way to talk to members and non-members about the campaign, identify new activists and recruit new members.
Branches are asked to use the 29 March pay day protest to build towards the largest protests that can be managed on Monday, 30 April. For the 30 April demonstration we will be asking branches to stage ‘big petition’ events.
Branches are asked to form big petitions by gathering signatures on hard copy petitions over the next two months and pasting all the separate petitions on to a board or banner. The hard copy petition is deliberately simple, calling for a 5% pay increase, ultimately aimed at the Cabinet Minister. Petitions are editable so branches can add in the name of their own branch or the name of key workplaces. Petitions should be circulated and signed by members and non-members and gathered by the branch in readiness for the pay day protests on 30 April. A copy of the hard copy petition is available to download from the PCS website.
PCS has complained from when it was first proposed that the DWP’s plans to rollout Universal Credit were too ambitious and likely to fail. Additionally we have campaigned alongside other organisations for years against the changes to the social security system that Universal Credit aims to introduce. These include in work conditionality, payment to a single householder, monthly payments in arrears, the rule that child benefit will only be paid for the first two children, and the general slashing of benefits that Universal Credit delivers.
In the government's recent budget announcement, they and DWP have U-turned on the pace of the rollout of Universal Credit Full Service following campaign activities by PCS and claimant activist groups, foodbank providers and the Citizens Advice Bureau. While these changes are welcomed they do not go nearly far enough and PCS believes that either a radical overhaul of Universal Credit or its abandonment is necessary for a fairer social security system. Additionally, a significantly slower rollout of Universal Credit Full Service was announced.