PCU Campaign call-out

Dear PCU Members,

I want to introduce myself and the PCU Committee to you. I am Juliet Lyons, the new General Secretary of PCU, as of our April 25th zoom Annual General Meeting. Our Committee is full of energy, enthusiasm and experience. For those of you that are new to PCU, Richard Bagnall-Oakeley (previous General Secretary), Andy Price (previous Treasurer), and Sasha Kaplin (Member Support Coordinator) remain on the Committee. Eleanor Lindlar (Health and Safety Officer) Audrey West, and Reem Shelhi, remain on the Committee for their second year. Kris Black, Sana Zehra, John Goss and Sarah Cantwell have all joined this year and Michael McDonough has recently joined as our new Treasurer.

I want to let you know how you could get involved. Often, we are asked to sign a petition or make a statement of solidarity, but the Committee feels that now is the time for PCU to focus on our own campaigns as counsellors and psychotherapists. We would like members to be involved in sustained campaigns, some of which already exist or have started. Following our members' meeting, on 30th May 2020, where members spoke about their strong and passionate interest in campaigns, we would like to set up the following campaign and task groups:

Paid Work Campaign – challenging the tide of voluntary posts across sectors. Contact Juliet: secretary.pcunion@gmail.com

NHS Campaign – challenge growing privatisation and one-size-fits-all therapies. Give the voice back to the practitioners. Contact Sarah: cantwes@tcd.ie

Influencing the Government Campaign - support and defend therapy from attacks from government and media. Including creeping medicalisation and one-size-fits-all therapies. Increasing the influence of practitioners, rather than top-down influence. Contact John: info@gosscounselling.co.uk

Recruiting and Educating Trainees Campaign - educational role of PCU in training; challenging the system where trainees work unpaid; recruiting trainees to PCU. Contact Richard: richardbagnalloakeley@gmail.com

Task Group Against Intersectional Discrimination - challenge structural issues of intersectional discrimination in our profession that maintain and perpetuate power over marginalised groups. Our first goal is to challenge the perpetuation of inequality that is grounded in racism / kneenecking within the recruitment, training, delivery of services in the psychotherapy and counselling profession including the workplace and Union. Contact Kris and Audrey: Kris_PCU@protonmail.com and westaudrey@gmail.com

Against Prevent Campaign – this is an already established campaign group, challenging the Prevent Bill in its erosion of civil liberties and the ethical values of therapists. Contact Richard: richardbagnalloakeley@gmail.com

We are asking you, our members, if you would like to get in touch and be part of any of those groups. If so, please send an email to the relevant contact person for that particular campaign.

Following the negative feedback from our members in response to the ‘Hour for an Hour’ campaign, we will not pursue this unless we can find an application that members will back.

We look forward to campaigning with you.

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