The PCS is commonly known as the union for civil servants, however it has long had members in the private sector organising primarily through the Commercial Sector group. Now IL, along with all of PCS, continues to argue that the services its members deliver should be publicly funded and run.
That said we recognise that outsourcing and privatisation happens – and indeed is likely to accelerate in the coming years. Further we cannot ignore workers who would previously have been working for the civil service now performing that work for private companies. Then there are those who were never in the civil service but who work for these companies.
There is a danger that Commercial Sector members can be very isolated from the union, particularly where their employer does not have a recognition agreement. We therefore support the idea of PCS ‘coupling’ some Commercial Sector members working in civil service workplaces with the relevant civil service branches, for example BBWorkplace, G4S, A4E and MITIE in DWP. This means that these members are able to get involved in local union activities and events. We also support organising in workplaces that are wholly within the private sector.