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From: The Socialist issue 1015, 24 October 2018: “May hanging by a thread” - Tories out, general election now

Search site for keywords: PCS - Tories - Union - Government - DWP - Civil Service - Chris Baugh

PCS legal win - build further pressure from below to defeat the Tories

PCS members on strike, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members on strike, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The PCS civil service union has won 3 million in damages following the union's challenge to the attempts by the Tory government to cut off its financial support from the DWP.

This follows the victory in the High Court in May 2016 when it was ruled that it was unlawful to have removed check-off (the union's ability to collect subscriptions directly from pay packets). Katrine Williams, a member of the PCS national executive committee and also a Socialist Party member, was one of the two union members who brought the legal challenge back then.

The work of the national union, the national executive committee and, most importantly, the tremendous work of reps on the ground in rebuilding the union when the Tories removed the ability of PCS to collect membership subs, was brilliant.

This work - to re-recruit 160,000 members onto direct debit - meant that the union emerged from this battle in a stronger position.

The key now is to turn this latest victory into one that fully compensates the union for the attacks waged on all government departments and arms-length bodies across PCS, not just the DWP.

The Chris Baugh for Assistant General Secretary campaign, which the Socialist Party supports, believes it's now vital to involve groups and lay representatives in discussions on submitting those legal challenges and how we can back this up with pressure from below.

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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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