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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2021

PCS union elections

Vote for rank-and-file socialist Broad Left Network candidates

PCS members on strike at BEIS, photo Helen Pattison

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

PCS, the union for civil service and public sector workers, has begun the 2021 elections for its president and national executive committee (NEC). The Broad Left Network (BLN) - a PCS rank-and-file socialist group is standing candidates.

Socialist Party members are active in the BLN, which was formed following criticisms of Left Unity over its undemocratic behaviour and failings as the leadership of PCS.

The PCS election is at a critical stage - the securing of nominations. The BLN slate is reproduced below along with a summary of key issues in the union.

Between now and 11 March PCS branches will hold their annual general meetings.

Members have the right to nominate candidates for president and NEC, and we are calling on socialists to nominate and support Marion Lloyd for president, and the rest of the BLN slate.

Presidential candidate Marion Lloyd says:

Marion Lloyd, photo Mary Finch, photo Mary Finch

Marion Lloyd, photo Mary Finch, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

"This has been a year when we've had to fight for our lives and livelihoods.

Our reps and members have worked tirelessly throughout the whole of this pandemic. Our reps have balanced their trade union role to keep everyone safe, with at the same time meeting the demands of their official work. And our members, despite the circumstances, and at no small risk to themselves, continue to deliver key services to the public.

I believe that we need a leadership in PCS that reflects the inspirational and brave role our reps and members have demonstrated. Regrettably, on too many occasions our leadership has failed us.

If I am elected president, I promise you that the NEC will never allow senior officers to park and water down our full pay claim as they did in 2020. This show of weakness not only let down our members but gave confidence to the employer to continue the attacks on our pay, and led directly to the HMRC management proposal to link pay increases to a worsening of conditions.

If we do not respond to the attacks that the employer has already embarked upon, despite the platitudes about how indispensable the public sector workforce is, then these attacks will only increase. The public sector pay 'pause' is just the start.

I recognise that many of our members think that we are very lucky given the circumstances that many other families face - illness and sadly, in some cases, deaths, redundancy and job loss as well as poverty and worry. But a high proportion of PCS members are facing these issues too, and we must unite and campaign to put in place the best possible pay and working conditions for all of us.

If we just 'accept our lot' then the Tory government will feel emboldened to make the public sector and all of those key workers pay the price. The pay freeze will be just the beginning - job losses, office closures, privatisations, attacks on our working conditions have not been 'paused'. Our union is there to support us and we need a leadership prepared to do that, to be bold and unswerving and build confidence that anything is possible.

With a firm, militant programme, and a serious approach to the other unions for coordinated action, we can take on the Tories and win.

The work that reps and members have undertaken to protect our safety, jobs, and terms and conditions is inspirational. It gives me the confidence that under a new leadership, with a fresh approach based on our collective strength, PCS can regain its fighting culture and win for members.

I am a member of the Socialist Party and the Broad Left Network. I am standing for PCS president and urge support for all BLN candidates."

Socialist Party members in PCS support the Broad Left Network in the PCS 2021 elections. Here are some of the issues of importance in the union and the list of BLN candidates:

PCS Broad Left Network election candidates - vote for the following

President: Lloyd Marion: (BEIS)

Vice-presidents: Brittle Fiona: (Scot Gov), Brown Sarah: (Met Police), Semple Dave: (DWP)

National Executive Committee:

Bartlett Dave: MOJ

Borland Rebecca: Home Office

Brittle Fiona: Scot Gov

Brown Alex: Health

Brown Sarah: Met Police

Denman Kevin Met Police

Dennis Alan DSG

Foxton Gill: DfE

Francis Sue BEIS

Guinnane Paul: DfE

Heemskerk Rachel: DWP

Lloyd Marion: BEIS

Lowry Tom: DWP

Parker Nick BEIS

Rees Dave DWP

Ritchie Rob: Met Police

Semple Dave DWP

Suter Paul DWP

Tweedale Saorsa-Amatheia DWP

Williams Katrine DWP

Worswick Craig: DWP

Young Colin DfE

Why we are supporting the Broad Left Network

"I am proud to support BLN in the national elections as I believe we need to go back to being an activist and member-led union. I believe that BLN has the programme that can achieve this and gain the successes our members deserve."

Sarah Brown, Met Police Group president (personal capacity)

"Covid-19 has a disproportionate impact on our disabled members. PCS states that equality is at the heart of everything we do, yet in the move to a predominantly virtual organising world, where the needs of disabled members and activists should have been at the forefront of protecting and promoting our members interests during the pandemic, PCS was found wanting. I am supporting the BLN in this year's elections as I have seen first-hand the leadership and dedication its activists have had in landing agreements to ensure that every safeguard that needed to be put in place for disabled members, whether they were working remotely or from their offices, was put in place."

Rob Bowers, DSG Group

"Marion has provided invaluable support, by listening and discussing through issues I have faced as a rep and negotiator, to find the best means to defend members and make real progress. It is refreshing to have someone prepared to discuss and who considers all avenues, including how to mobilise our members' anger to bring maximum pressure on management in talks to get results."

Katrine Williams, DWP Group vice-president (personal capacity)

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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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 10 February 2021:


Tories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

Question mark over AstraZeneca's vaccine to protect against new Covid variant

Big Energy piles on the misery

News in brief


Black Workers' Charter: A programme to fight racism


Grenfell: Are we any closer to justice?


TUSC online conference: Preparing to build a working-class force for the local elections in May

Ex-Labour socialists preparing to stand for TUSC in Devon

Workplace news

Striking British Gas workers fighting to win

PCS: Vote for rank-and-file socialist Broad Left Network candidates

Hackney schools workers to strike

York couriers call on council for protection from "fear of dismissal"

Court workers to ballot in fight for safety

NSSN meeting: Fight together against the Tories and bosses' Covid offensive

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Turkey: Bogaziçi university students protest appointment of government loyalist as rector

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Readers' opinion

Covid and pregnancy

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Starmer ditches Labour movement tradition for cheap trick

The Socialist Inbox


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