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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 February 2011

PCS young members' network conference

The civil servants' union, PCS, held its annual Young Members' Forum in Manchester from 4 to 6 February. 75 delegates, 33 of whom were attending their first ever union event, came together from every region.

Nick Parker

Alan Warner, outgoing Young Members' Chair, kicked off by making some remarks about the leading role which PCS young members have played in building the union's campaigns over the last year.

He was followed by Tracy Edwards, National Young Members' Organiser, who explained that the campaigning approach of young members in PCS has spread to other unions.

For example, it forced the TUC to call a demonstration on 29 January to defend young people's rights.

I then gave a short talk about the campaign of PCS in Jobcentre Plus contact centres to defend the conditions of staff. We are regularly forced to put meaningless statistics and arbitrary targets before the interests of the vulnerable people we serve.

It is now likely that a ballot will take place involving all Jobcentre Plus contact centre members. At the end of the weekend, I was proud to announce that over 250 had been raised towards the hardship fund.

There were workshop sessions including representing members in personal cases, a history of trade unionism in the civil service and how to build a community campaign.

There were also plenary sessions about how to fight the cuts and the unfolding revolutionary events in North Africa and the Middle East.

Left Unity, the socialist group in PCS, held a fringe meeting at a nearby venue on Saturday night. The meeting attracted over 20 young members eager to hear about what they can do to make sure PCS further develops as a campaigning, fighting union.

The weekend demonstrated that a united and campaigning network of activists can be constructed. I would encourage everyone to join a union and to help re-build the trade unions as an effective campaigning and democratic movement.

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In The Socialist 9 February 2011:


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts


Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain


Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds


Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


 

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