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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 July 2019

Socialists in PCS union launch new group to fight general secretary election

PCS members deserve a fighting, democratic union, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members deserve a fighting, democratic union, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in PCS

A new group has been formed within civil service union PCS's Left Unity grouping. The Broad Left Network is a campaign for a fighting, democratic union made up of socialists and supporters of PCS Left Unity.

The election campaign for the assistant general secretary of PCS raised issues that remain central to the future of our union.

The majority of the Left Unity national committee failed to actively campaign for the election of the candidate chosen by Left Unity members. Some even campaigned for a rival candidate who was not in Left Unity.

This led to the loss of the election and a victory for a political opponent. We cannot rely on these members to respect the decision of Left Unity members in the general secretary election if their preferred candidate is not successful.

The Broad Left Network stands for:

PCS Broad Left Network is a new grouping within the union's Left Unity group

PCS Broad Left Network is a new grouping within the union's Left Unity group   (Click to enlarge)

General secretary election

At PCS conference in May, leaflets supporting current general secretary Mark Serwotka's election campaign were distributed by some Left Unity national committee members. At that time no Left Unity procedure for deciding its candidate had taken place or been proposed. Many Left Unity activists were outraged by this blatant attempt to pre-empt a Left Unity democratic decision.

The majority on the Left Unity national committee, organised in the 'Socialist View' group, has now made arrangements to hold an election to decide its general secretary candidate.

Left Unity rules require candidates to give a signed undertaking to recommend and campaign for whoever wins the nomination. However, the majority on the national committee are refusing to implement the rules.

The Broad Left Network is proposing to nominate Marion Lloyd. Marion is a leading activist within the union, a PCS national executive committee member and president of the PCS group in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy.

Serwotka and his supporters in Left Unity claim concerns about the under-representation of women in the union. They line up behind the slogan of 'Step Aside Brother' - a top-down, artificial process. But even within the limitations of this approach their commitment is shown to be a complete sham.

At the June national executive committee Socialist Party member Marion Lloyd was removed from the union's key lay body - the policy and resources committee.

At the Midlands regional committee in June they challenged Sian Ruddock for the chair position with a male Socialist Workers Party member.

At the Department for Work and Pensions committee meeting in June they removed Rachel Heemskerk from the PCS trade union-side team, resulting in an all-male delegation.

We consistently campaign for the removal of all barriers to the involvement of women in PCS and the labour movement generally. But we don't agree with mathematical formulae and other bureaucratic approaches.

The Broad Left Network aims to build support for our demands and to campaign for candidates who share these views, and to build a fighting, democratic broad left and to challenge the control exercised by the union officialdom and its echoes in the lay structures.

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In The Socialist 3 July 2019:


Workplace news

Angry Usdaw members strike at Sainsbury's distribution centre over sick pay cut

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Fight for socialism

Construction workers protest in defence of union rights and against anti-worker EU

Socialists in PCS union launch new group to fight general secretary election

Steps forward and missed opportunities at Unite rules conference

London Arriva bus drivers vote for strike action over bullying and workload

Birmingham school strike for safe working environment

Lancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks


What we think

Sinister moves against Corbyn can be beaten by clear socialist policies


News

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Nationalisation is answer to Southern Water cover up

Gig-economy exploitation doubles

Even social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Them & Us

What we saw


Stonewall riots

Stonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party secures new offices

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

Coventry says no to congestion charge

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

Stourbridge: Keep our college!


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New opportunity to build working-class fightback after voters punish Erdogan

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Opinion

The Socialist inbox

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Related links:

PCS:

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

trianglePCS executive majority cancels union democracy

triangleJobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

triangleChange in leadership needed to secure union's future

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

Union:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

Election:

triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The US presidential election

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

Socialist:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

Civil Service:

trianglePCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

Marion Lloyd:

triangleStrong support for PCS Broad Left Network

Mark Serwotka:

triangleAn exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

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