Broad lefts and rank-and-file groups

Vote Tracy in the NEU!

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:13

The election for the Support Staff sector seat on the executive of the NEU is now running and will close on 2 December.

The candidate for the rank-and-file Education Solidarity Network is Workers’ Liberty supporter Tracy McGuire. She is supported by many militant support staff, including the Durham Teaching Assistants’ Value Us campaign.

Tracy says:

  • Support staff should be treated as equal citizens in our Union. That means the NEU fighting for the right to represent and negotiate on behalf of our support staff members at every level.
  • The union should campaign for national pay arrangements

Three candidates, one rank and file

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:23
Author

A PCS activist

The election campaign for PCS general secretary has now started, and runs until 12 December.

Before it started, the union closed down the members’ Facebook page, leaving only the main union Facebook page, administered by head office staff. That page has churned out a weekly, sometimes daily, stream of videos of the current general secretary, Mark Serwotka, holding forth on various issues.

Closing down a potential forum for debate, and using the union’s official platforms for blatant electioneering, do not reflect well on Serwotka’s campaign for re-election.

Bev Laidlaw is standing as the

Vote Bev Laidlaw for PCS General Secretary

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 08:21

PCS has been run by a “broad left” alliance, made up of the Left Unity grouping working with some more right-wing elements, for over 15 years. In that time, after an initial increase, membership has haemorrhaged. In all major government departments, membership has fallen by between 10-50%.

The “broad left” narrative is essentially that, if you elect a “left-wing” leadership, you can simply put your trust in them and everything else will fall into place. The dominance of this narrative has led to a decline in workplace activism and militancy, and a decline in density across all bargaining units

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2019 - 07:31
Author

Gerry Bates, Dom Sztyber, Darren Bedford and Ollie Moore

The ballot for general secretary of the civil service union PCS will open on 7 November and close on 12 December.

For the first time in 18 years, the sitting general secretary, Mark Serwotka, faces a challenge from the left.

Bev Laidlaw, the Independent Left candidate, got 17 branch nominations, topping the number of 15 required to get on the ballot paper.

Serwotka got 62 nominations. The candidate backed by the Socialist Party, Marion Lloyd, got 39.

The SP was a dominant force in the union, closely allied with Serwotka, until about a year and a half ago.

In the Assistant General Secretary

Back Bev Laidlaw for PCS General Secretary!

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2019 - 08:30

The election for general secretary of the civil service union PCS is now well into the branch nomination phase.

Nominations close on 14 October. Voting will run from 7 November to 12 December.

There are three known candidates: Mark Serwotka, the existing General Secretary; Marion Lloyd, the candidate of the Socialist Party (SP), a current PCS NEC [National Executive] member Marion Lloyd; and Bev Laidlaw, candidate of the Independent Left (IL), and also a current NEC member.

Bev Laidlaw has been a consistent opponent of the bombastic and failed PCS leadership. She has been elected to the NEC

Bev Laidlaw for PCS General Secretary!

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 08:27

The nomination period for the post of General Secretary in the civil service trade union PCS has now opened. PCS branches should be organising to debate which candidate they wish to support in the actual elections, which will open on 7 November.

Bev Laidlaw, a DWP rank and file activist and NEC member, will be contesting the election as a PCS Independent Left candidate. All serious socialists and PCS activists who yearn for a departure from the many years of failed, bombastic, top down bureaucratic leader leadership should campaign to nominate and vote for Bev.

We should do so taking

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:39
Author

Ollie Moore, Jay Dawkey, Cath Fletcher and David Pendletone

UCU ballot opens

University staff belonging to UCU are being balloted for strike action this autumn over pay equality, job security, workload and pay deflation.

Working conditions in higher education have been deteriorating. The gender pay gap is over 15%; over 100,000 staff across the sector are on fixed-term contracts; academic staff work over 50 hours in a typical week; and in the past ten years pay has declined by 20% in real terms.

In 2018 an impressive strike forced pre-92 universities to back down on massive pension cuts, but since then employers have refused to compromise and now they

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 07:52
Author

Ollie Moore

Tube workers fight job cuts

Tube workers are currently voting in an industrial action ballot, as the RMT union pushes back against job cuts proposed as part of the so-called “Transformation” process.

Nearly 2,000 workers are being balloted, including workers in engineering, signals, electrical, track, the London Underground Control Centre, and the Emergency Response Unit. “Transformation”, a sweeping restructure and job cuts plan, has already led to admin workers seeing their numbers slashed.

The current phase of the plan includes the outsourcing of waste collection workers who are currently

Fat cat college threatens to sink pension scheme

Published on: Thu, 20/06/2019 - 08:35

Trinity College, the richest college at the University of Cambridge (net worth £1.5bn), recently took the decision to remove itself from the USS pension agreement — the same agreement that saw 2018’s mass industrial action on dozens of university campuses.

This verdict, taken based on flawed financial grounds and with disregard to the wider education sector, puts at greater risk the pensions of over 400,000 university workers across the UK, and is already leading other universities to re-consider their long-term commitment to the scheme.

University and College Union members in Cambridge

A different PCS conference

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 08:21

The 2019 conference of PCS, the main civil service union, from 21-23 May in Brighton was the most open and interesting one in years. The great majority of motions on the Conference agenda were not controversial and nor should they be: the bulk of equality and terms and conditions motions should command support. However, on a number of issues the NEC found itself struggling to win over delegates.

The NEC was censured – an unprecedented event at PCS conference — over its inadequate response to the General Secretary, Mark Serwotka, co-signing a letter last July to the Morning Star. This

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