Nominate Marion Lloyd for general secretary and John Moloney for AGS
Socialist Party member and Broad Left Network (BLN) supporter Marion Lloyd has cleared the 15-nomination threshold to get on to the ballot paper in the election for general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.
Marion, an activist of more than 40 years’ experience as a rep in PCS, is fighting for the re-mobilisation of the union’s national campaign on pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy rights. Fran Heathcote, the current President of the union, has deliberately abandoned the union’s national campaign.
Under the leadership of Heathcote and the so-called ‘Democracy Alliance’ (involving the groupings ‘Left Unity’ and ‘PCS Democrats’), which makes up a clear majority of the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC), our strikes have been shelved, our reballots for further action have been cancelled and further efforts to raise strike funds have ceased.
Yet Heathcote and her supporters protest that they haven’t ended the national campaign at all!
Socialist Party members in PCS, alongside all activists in the BLN, are hard at work organising nominating meetings across the length and breadth of PCS. We want maximum input from union members into the nominations process, as every nomination will count.
Marion is running alongside the current Assistant General Secretary (AGS), John Moloney of the Independent Left group, who is standing for re-election. Heathcote and her allies brought forward the date of the next AGS election from May 2024, in a bid to undermine John’s position.
Both Marion and John are running on the basis that they will not accept the inflated senior official pay. Marion will stay on her current civil service wage. John already does this. They will both donate back to the union the remainder of their salary so that neither will benefit financially if elected.
In addition to the fight to re-energise the campaigns on pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy rights, after the below-inflation offers received by the vast majority of civil servants and workers in the privatised areas represented by PCS, both Marion and John aim to increase democracy in the union.
Out of touch
Increasingly, the leadership is perceived as out of touch and arrogant. An incident at the recent PCS Annual Delegate Conference in May 2023 has caused widespread concern when, as chair of the conference, Heathcote deliberately arranged for a filibuster to keep a motion on LGBT+ rights from being debated.
This has been compounded by the misuse by the NEC of a recent civil service-wide ballot. In the vote about the union’s national strategy, Heathcote and Co worded the ballot so that if you voted ‘yes’, the campaign ended; if you voted ‘no’, the campaign ended.
Evidently many activists are now drawing the same conclusions. At the end of September, dozens of union activists – mostly, but not solely, in the second-largest section of PCS, the Revenue and Customs (R&C) group – resigned their membership of Heathcote’s Left Unity faction.
Reps from R&C group cited Heathcote’s behaviour at PCS conference, the recent ballot, and a myriad other ways in which they feel that the group that runs the union is interested in holding power but not in winning for members or supporting reps on the ground.
We agree. The time has come for change in PCS, and we encourage all activists to support, nominate and vote for Marion Lloyd for General Secretary and John Moloney for Assistant General Secretary.
We look forward to working with all those in the union who want to come together to campaign for a democratic and fighting PCS.
- Nominations close on 16 October