credit: Paul Mattsson
credit: Paul Mattsson

Socialist Party members in the PCS

On Tuesday 24 May, PCS conference voted for a statutory strike ballot. The ballot is in opposition to the government’s pay limit of 2-3%, and will start on 1st September.

The Conference was presented with a choice between two alternatives. General secretary Mark Serwotka, for the executive, argued for a September statutory ballot on pay, pensions and redundancy terms. Time is needed, he said, to prepare for a ballot.

Socialist Party member Dave Semple made the case for a ballot start date no later than 1st July, pointing out that the cost of living crisis is now, and  an urgent response is required. The ballot should, he said, include jobs and office closures in addition to pay, etc. 

The executive had no answer to criticism that they had done nothing to resist government pay limits in previous years and have left it so late to prepare for a strike ballot on 2022 pay.

They had no answer either to the question of how they expect to fight job cuts and office closures if they exclude these issues from the proposed statutory ballot.

Delegates voted to support the executive’s argument that more time is needed to win a statutory ballot –  an argument that would have no force if the executive had done more months previously to prepare the union to take on the Tory attacks.

Although the strategy agreed by conference is not the one Socialist Party members argued for,  we welcome the decision to hold a statutory ballot. Socialist Party members will be tireless in our efforts to win the ballot and in holding the leadership to account.

Click here for PCS group conference reports