Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/806/18443
The Socialist 9 April 2014 |
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Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) elections
PCS strike on budget day, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
John McInally PCS vice-president personal capacity
The ballot for the PCS President and National Executive Committee (NEC) elections opens on 16 April and closes on 8 May. At stake is the leadership of one of Britain's most important unions.
The ballot of the PCS' 270,000-strong membership is significant not just because of the union's size and the importance of the jobs of its members.
But because the left-led PCS is recognised as one of the most consistent and outspoken critics of the government's austerity programme and a leading organiser of opposition and action against government attacks.
Under the leadership of the Democracy Alliance - an alliance between Left Unity, in which Socialist Party members have played a key role, and the PCS Democrats - PCS has been transformed into a fighting, campaigning and democratic union. The Democracy Alliance candidates seek re-election based on their record in office, on a programme of:
- Defend jobs, conditions and services.
- Organise to defeat the attack on check-off and union facilities.
- End the pay freeze. Oppose privatisation and off-shoring.
- Fair pensions for all.
- Improved conditions for call centre members.
- Oppose the discredited Performance Management system.
- Challenge discrimination, lack of childcare facilities, unfair sickness rules. Equality for all.
- Defend the welfare state.
- Continue to campaign for our alternative to austerity, including improving jobs and services, investment in public services, climate jobs and tax justice.
The policies pursued by the leadership are agreed by the PCS annual conference. At every stage the PCS leadership has sought and received a democratic mandate for its actions.
PCS's stand against the government's austerity programme received overwhelming support of the membership in a recent consultation exercise covering over 80% of PCS branches.
PCS activists and members are absolutely convinced that joint coordinated industrial action is the best way to win on common issues like pay and pensions and the union will continue campaigning to make this strategy a reality.
The government has launched a series of unparalleled and vindictive attacks on the union. Withdrawal of facility time from union representatives and the threatened withdrawal of "check-off" ie deduction of union subs from salary, an internationally recognised trade union right, are just two examples of the vicious anti-union campaign being waged against PCS.
These attacks will not stop the PCS leadership from doing what is necessary to protect and defend its members' interests and from more generally championing the interests of working people.
Nor will PCS be silenced or lulled into inactivity by the proposition that we should lie low and wait for a Labour government, a government that would be committed to the coalition's spending plans, ongoing austerity and further cuts and privatisation.
The current NEC will be challenged by right-wing candidates of the old discredited 'Moderate' grouping rebranded as '4themembers'.
They believe there is no alternative to the cuts and that the union should do nothing but accept the attacks on terms and conditions.
The right-wing candidate in the recent assistant general secretary election did not even achieve support of the minimum number of branches to get on the ballot paper, perhaps not surprising as she had claimed austerity is the "only show in town".
The right wing spend more time attacking their own union than the employer and the government would see it as a green light to step up their attacks even further if they were elected.
In order to meet the many challenges faced by PCS members by a government intent on further cuts and privatisations it is vital to re-elect a strong, dedicated, determined left leadership to defend jobs, conditions and services.
Democracy Alliance slate
Janice Godrich DWP
Sue Bond EHRC
Paula Brown HSE
Kevin Mc Hugh R&C
John McInally DWP
Ian Albert DWP
Mark Baker DCLG
Clive Bryant R&C
Alan Dennis MOD
Mike Derbyshire MOJ
Richard Douglas NAO
Lawrence Dunne HO
Mary Ferguson DWP
Helen Flanagan DWP
Cheryl Gedling Scot Exec
Jackie Green MOJ
Sam Hall DWP
Elenor Haven Land Registry
Fran Heathcote DWP
Declan Hickey MOJ
Zita Holbourne ACAS
John Jamieson Rofs
Adam Khalif DWP
Mark Leopard R&C
Neil License R&C
Marion Lloyd BIS
Domonic McFadden R&C
Lorna Merry R&C
Chris Morrison Com S
Marianne Owens R&C
Clara Paillard CMSOA
Ian Pope DWP
Karen Watts MOJ
Hector Wesley R&C
Paul Williams DfT