Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1004/27704
Tory anti-union ballot threshold frustrates national strike action
PCS members back fightback on pay - keep building pressure
Marion Lloyd, PCS national executive committee (personal capacity)
The PCS pay strike ballot which finished midday Monday 23 July returned a massive majority for strike action, but the vote fell short of the 50% turnout required by the undemocratic Tory anti-union laws.
In a ballot of PCS public service members, the turnout was 59,254 (41.6%), which is the joint-highest in the union's history. Of those who voted, a huge 50,726, or 86%, voted yes to strike action.
This is something that the Tories should not ignore. We may have fallen short of the 50% threshold, but no way can the Tories take any real satisfaction from this ballot.
This is especially true for a Government that received the votes of only 28% of the electorate, and which is propped up by the reactionary DUP.
The strike ballot result is a disappointment but still represents a significant achievement. Thousands of our reps spent hundreds of hours leafleting, talking to members, organising car park meetings, phone-banking to chase votes and organising in the workplace. New members and new reps have been recruited to PCS in every corner of the country.
The union's National Executive Committee met on Tuesday 24 July to discuss the result and agree a way forward. Socialist Party members argued:
- To call on the government and the other civil service unions to re-open negotiations on the pay remit (1 - 1.5% cap) and our claim for 5%, or £1,200, and for national pay bargaining
- If the government's position remains unchanged, full support to negotiators in all bargaining areas to continue to challenge the pay cap and support submissions for action, working to link up different areas of the union in action
- To ensure that regional and nation committees, group executive committees and national branches see their own turnout so as to continue the major organising work, as we work to build action area by area
- To call a special pay conference in September or October to assess the pay situation and further develop plans for carrying forward the fight against the government's vicious and discriminatory pay cap policy
So long as the pay cap remains, the fight against it goes on.
- Also see a response by PCS AGS Chris Baugh (in a personal capacity) to the revelation that the Thatcher government blacklisted Militant supporters working in the civil service.
In The Socialist 25 July 2018:
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