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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2020

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

PCS members on strike at BEIS, photo Helen Pattison

PCS members on strike at BEIS, photo Helen Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

Katrine Williams, vice-president PCS DWP group (personal capacity)

The 2020 national elections of the PCS, a union of civil servants and private sector workers on government contracts, are at a key stage. Branches throughout the union are meeting to agree nominations for president and national executive committee. The closing date for submitting nominations is 5 March.

Contesting these elections will be the newly formed Broad Left Network (BLN). Socialist Party members are on the list of BLN-supported candidates. These include Marion Lloyd for national president, David Semple for national vice-president and Katrine Williams for national executive committee. The full list can be found at pcsbln.wordpress.com.

At its inaugural meeting on 18 January, the BLN agreed its programme. This covers the union's campaigns on pay, pensions, redundancy rights, tax justice, social security, equality, mental health, climate change and other issues.

Improving the union's record of organising and recruiting members, better training for reps, defending facility time and ensuring our members in the private sector are fully supported have also been identified as key issues for the BLN.

Underpinning all of this is union democracy and accountability. The trend in the union has been the development of a siege mentality by the current leadership.

The collapse of coordinated strike action across the public sector unions after the magnificent two million-strong pensions strike on 30 November 2011, and attacks on facility time and the end of check-off, have led the current leadership to move towards centralisation, and a full-time officer-directed model of organisation divorced from and unaccountable to reps and members.

A fundamental shift is required in how the union operates. For this reason we are calling on all PCS branches to nominate BLN-supported candidates for president and national executive committee in this year's elections.

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In The Socialist 12 February 2020:


News

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

Streatham attack: Johnson's bill can't stop terror

Them & Us

What We Heard


NHS

NHS: Fight for full funding!

Unnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

NHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire


Trade unions

Trade unions - new decade, new challenges


Workplace news

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

University strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

East London school strikes against academisation continue

Foreign Office workers' strike

Solidarity with Turkish workers

Lambeth Unison letter

London NSSN meeting

Solidarity with victimised bus rep Moe

Support Clive Walder


Cuts

How to resist tory attacks on local communities

Cuts councillors are the real problem

Council houses - not private property developers


International

Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division


Campaigns

Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

Building a working-class movement for Tamil rights

Hackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

20 years of housing failure

Socialist Sellers


Universal Credit

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

UC stopped without warning


 

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triangleStrong support for PCS Broad Left Network

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triangleUnite union nominates Long-Bailey and Burgon

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