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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 March 2014

Building a fighting union leadership

Chris Baugh re-elected PCS assistant general secretary

Chris Baugh has recently been re-elected as assistant general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS). He has written to PCS Left Unity members:

Thank you all for my nominations for Assistant General Secretary. No other candidate received the 15 nominations needed to stand and so I have been declared elected with 166 nominations.

I believe the current leadership of the union is one of the best in the trade union movement. I am proud to be part of this leadership.

I am pleased to be given another term in office and look forward to working with Mark Serwotka and Janice Godrich [the union's general secretary and president] over the next five years dealing with the many challenges that face PCS.

I urge you now to turn your efforts to the election of the Democracy Alliance President and national executive (NEC) slate.

We stand for:

There may be those in the union who disagree with the current leadership, what we are doing and what we stand for. But at no time do they say what, if anything, they would do differently.

On 16 April ballot papers will be sent out for the President and NEC elections. I hope you will do everything you can to secure a decisive victory for the Democracy Alliance slate.

This will send a clear message to the coalition government that we reject and will continue to resist their attacks on the union and its members.

Thanks again for supporting me. I ask you to support, vote for and work for the election of the Democracy Alliance candidates

Chris Baugh

Shared services

John McInally, National vice-president, Public and Commercial Services union (PCS)

Knowing that the general election is only 15 or so months away the Coalition government has embarked on a 'scorched earth' policy to cut and privatise as much of the civil service as possible. They are pressing for the privatisation of departmental and agency shared services.

Shared services cover functions such as staff records, personal details, payroll information. These services have been or are about to be privatised with a loss of jobs and conditions and closure of offices. Both jobs and the personal details of civil servants are to be off-shored.

Avarto and SSCL/Steria, have a record of cutting jobs and off-shoring work. SSCL have already taken over shared services work in DWP, Defra and the Environment Agency (EA).

SSCL have announced the closure of ex-DWP sites at Sheffield, Cardiff and at the former EA site in Leeds with the loss of 400 jobs.

PCS members took industrial action last November when the privatisation took place, with PCS winning concessions, but the company is rushing ahead with job cuts now it is in the private sector.

SSCL made it clear to the government that the only way the contract could be delivered within the financial plan was by off-shoring.

It is recruiting 200 staff in India on pay rates considerably lower than that in the UK.

While David Cameron talks to the world elite at Davos, the government aims to sell their own staff into the private sector with the knowledge that not only their jobs but the personal details of civil servants will be off-shored.

PCS is not opposed to the creation of new jobs in India or anywhere else but these are not new jobs. Neither is it acceptable that personal records are sent out the country.

This is a political attack driven by the fanatical 'reducing the state' ideology of a government that hates the public sector and will do anything to cut services or sell off what it can for profit.

There are no good privatisations and these are no exception. PCS will continue to campaign to defend the jobs and conditions of members already privatised and fight to prevent further planned privatisations.

We are taking the campaign direct to the politicians, including Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, whose own Sheffield constituency faces substantial losses.

PCS will work with Unison who represent staff in Leeds, continue to negotiate with the employers and government, and organise and campaign among our members to resist further sell-offs.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 13 March 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Bob Crow - A great fighter for the working class

Stop the destruction of care in Britain

NHS - under attack from private vultures

Police spy inquiry must not be another whitewash

Stop cuts and police repression in Tottenham!

Them & Us

Socialist Party congress

Preparing for a mighty upsurge in class struggle

Socialist Party workplace news

Solidarity with Doncaster care strikers

PCS: Building a fighting union leadership

Lawyers walk out to defend legal aid

Probation workers to strike again

Labour council removes trade union facilities

Unison higher education - fighting leadership needed

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning on International Women's Day

Second Maltby councillor for TUSC

Turkey solidarity protest

Anti-fracking campaign steps up in Lancashire

Readers' comments

The horror that was World War One


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