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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 October 2018

PCS Left Unity election: ballot opens

PCS members in Bristol demonstrating against the government's pay cap, photo Roger Thomas

PCS members in Bristol demonstrating against the government's pay cap, photo Roger Thomas   (Click to enlarge)

PCS civil service union Assistant General Secretary (AGS) Chris Baugh, elected three times since 2004, has won at least eight nomination meetings in his campaign to be the Left Unity AGS candidate for a fourth term.

Left Unity regional group meetings have now met and agreed their nominations. Voting will take place during November. Socialist Party member Chris Baugh is opposed, in a divisive move, by Janice Godrich, current PCS president, with support from PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka.

The move to replace Chris has led to a potentially damaging campaign within Left Unity. Chris, along with other Socialist Party members, is being opposed by the newly formed Socialist View including the Socialist Workers' Party.

It is clear they want to remove the voice of the Socialist Party in PCS. Their slates are divisive and do not follow in the best traditions of the left, which reflect all strands of opinion in Left Unity.

For the Left Unity national committee their slate challenges positions held by Socialist Party members Marion Lloyd (current Left Unity chair) and Dave Semple (current editor). This slate also removes two women activists from small government departments.

Their national executive committee (NEC) slate, if successful, will remove Socialist Party members Marion Lloyd, Katrine Williams and Dave Semple. In contrast, the Chris4AGS campaign has put forward a limited slate, leaving places for those currently on the Left Unity national committee and the NEC, including Socialist View supporters.

The election campaign has brought to the surface political differences. The Chris4AGS campaign, which is supported by the Socialist Party and many independent socialists across the union, has united around a programme which sets out a fighting strategy to take the union forward.

On pay, we support a full democratic discussion to determine the next steps and to agree future industrial strategy - one which maximises the potential of reaching and exceeding the Tory-imposed ballot threshold.

This discussion should include, for example, linking pay with jobs and conditions, an aggregate ballot, and an organising strategy to build the union. This contrasts with the 'more of the same' approach by Socialist View supporters.

Rather than unconditional support for Labour, the Chris4AGS campaign stands for the continued political independence of PCS while working with Labour to ensure it implements the promises it has given the union. The Chris4AGS campaign stands for lay power and increased democracy, including extending the election of full-time officers.

We stand for an open, democratic and inclusive Left Unity - a rank-and-file organisation which fights for and supports a left leadership, but retains sufficient independence to hold the leadership accountable.

We are seeking support in the Left Unity ballot - which closes on 23 November - for the candidates listed below.

Our slates leave places to be filled by other incumbent Left Unity national committee and PCS NEC members. We stand for unity within the left around a programme to fight to defend PCS members, resist Tory attacks and oppose austerity.


PCS elections

Nomination for Left Unity candidate for AGS: Chris Baugh

Nominations for Left Unity slate for the PCS national executive committee:

PCS Left Unity national committee

Follow our campaign on Facebook - Re-elect Chris Baugh AGS

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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 31 October 2018:


What we think

Crisis Tory Budget brings no relief from austerity


News

Save Our Schools

Only a socialist alternative can end austerity

Homelessness, Universal Credit misery, high rents, cramped flats, isolated estates...end the housing crisis!

Philip Green scandal - bring him down like BHS

60% of wildlife wiped out - urgent action needed to save planet


Workplace news

Glasgow's equal pay uprising shows power of working class

CWU conference: Sharpen up our act? Yes. But weaken our democracy? No

Welsh college staff set to strike on pay and workload

UCU: General secretary censured but anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot

Driving London's buses - a laser in the eye and a boot up the bum!

PCS Left Unity election: ballot opens

National Gallery reps endorse Chris Baugh

Precarious workers march against gig economy


Peterloo massacre

Peterloo: "If the people were to rise and smite their enemies, was not this the time?" Samuel Bamford, demonstrator


International socialist news and analysis

Bolsonaro - a threat to workers and all oppressed people

Parliamentary coup in Sri Lanka


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Call to arms by Southampton council unions

Campaign building to save Scarborough and district hospitals

The Socialist sales successes in Leeds


Opinion

'Lucas Plan' film tells story of workers who set out alternative to job losses

The Socialist inbox


 

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