PCS: time to ditch the "broad left" model!

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 13:10

Phil Dickens

By Phil Dickens. Cross-posted from the PCS Independent Left website.

The fight over who will be the Left Unity candidate for Assistant General Secretary in next year’s elections could hardly be farther removed from the concerns of PCS members in the workplace. Most won’t be even tangentially aware of it, and if they are will view it as irrelevant.

But it does say something about the current position of our union.

Left Unity has dominated PCS’s hierarchy for the better part of two decades. In that time, true believers have stuck to the party line. LU’s socialism, its leading role in the trade

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 11:34

Two train drivers

Two train drivers talked with Solidarity about the latest in the long-running Driver Only Operation dispute, where the RMT union is taking action against threats to guards’ jobs.

As far as we know, the Merseyrail offer is not final. We’re not even sure why it’s been publicly released.

Negotiations are still ongoing. The ACAS process was supposed to be confidential, and this breaches that.

I wouldn’t vote for the offer. It accepts a three-year pay freeze for guards, and makes cleaners redundant (though it promises no compulsory redundancies), in order to finance retaining the guard as a safety

PCS pay ballot falls short

Published on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:55

By PCS Independent Left

Civil Service union PCS’s national ballot for strike action over pay failed to meet the 50 percent turnout threshold imposed by the Trade Union Act. This despite the most intensive period of activity in the union’s recent history. What do we learn from this? And what comes next?

Despite the tangible sense of disappointment felt by all activists, we can be proud. The result wasn’t what we wanted, but the commitment and effort of everyone who leafleted, who canvassed members in the workplace and who gave up their own time is not in doubt.

The activist training schools that ran ahead of the

Vote YES in the PCS pay ballot!

Published on: Wed, 11/07/2018 - 14:47

a PCS activist

PCS, the largest civil service union is in the middle of an industrial ballot on pay. which is running from June 18 to July 23.

Over 130,000 members of the union working for government departments and their agencies and responsible bodies have been balloted in the wake of the government's refusal to lift the cap on pay or even enter into negotiations with the unions.

This is the first national statutory ballot PCS have run since the new 50% turnout threshold for union ballots came into force.

The decision to ballot on pay, voted on almost unanimously at the union’s conference in May follows a

ACAS deal wins more jobs

Published on: Wed, 06/06/2018 - 15:21

By Charlotte Zalens

Workers at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have won more jobs and commitments on workload and grading following strikes.

According to the PCS union: ″Acas management has agreed to immediately recruit extra staff and keep overall conciliation staffing levels under review, with a view to further recruitment rounds to take account of ongoing service demands and staff turnover.

″Acas has also agreed to accelerate work on a new grading redesign in response to union anger at the downgrading of work.

“In the event of case volumes leading to more pressures on the system, Acas

PCS to ballot on pay

Published on: Wed, 30/05/2018 - 12:00

Charlotte Zalens

PCS members voted at their Annual Conference, taking place in Brighton from 22-24 May, to ballot members across the civil service for national strikes on pay.

An emergency motion from the union′s National Executive instructing the executive to ″organise a statutory ballot of members in the civil service and its related bodies on a programme of industrial action involving both all member and targeted action, to be held as soon as possible after Conference″ was overwhelmingly carried. And about time too.

PCS held a consultative ballot of members in September-October 2017, but those members have

PCS elections: Vote Independent Left; build the rank-and-file

Published on: Tue, 08/05/2018 - 10:30

By a PCS member

National and Group executive committee elections are underway in the PCS union.

Touted (primarily by its leadership) as a left union, the leadership faction, Left Unity, controlled by the Socialist Party, are looking to secure a 15th year in charge of the union. Their only challenge comes from the left flank in the guise of activists from the Independent Left – a coalition of rank-and-file independents, Labour Lefties, Syndicalists and supporters of Workers Liberty.

Over the past decade, membership numbers, density and engagement in the union have fallen to an all-time low and employers have

Public sector pay: make the unions move!

Published on: Wed, 31/01/2018 - 10:58

Charlotte Zalens

Local government workers have been offered pay rises of 2% in each of the next two years.

Further flat rate rises are promised for workers on the lowest pay, but the effect of existing top-ups which bring some of those workers up to the government’s National Living Wage is that some of them will get no pay rise at all.

The offer from the Local Government Association is below inflation (CPIH up 2.7% December 2016 to December 2017), and does not even start to make up for pay lost since 2010. According to the Unison union, strong in local government and health, “public sector pay rose by just 4.4

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 13/12/2017 - 12:24

Will Sefton, Gemma Short and Patrick Murphy

The local government employers have proposed a two year pay offer for council and school support staff workers of 2% in 2018 and a further 2% in 2019.

Unison, GMB and Unite, as the largest unions representing local government workers, will now put the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

Initial statements from the three unions suggest they at least partially welcome a wage rise that is above the 1% pay cap, but it is well below the level needed to restore anywhere like the 20% cut that workers have faced since 2010.

The last national strike action taken in local government

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 15/11/2017 - 12:44

Gemma Short and Peggy Carter

Members of train drivers’ union Aslef working for GTR Southern voted to accept the deal recommended by their leadership to settle their long-running dispute over Driver Only Operation.

The headline pay increase looks impressive at first — 28.5% over five years, with a minimum of a 2.5% increase (or more if RPI is higher than 2.5%) in the last year of the deal, bringing the basic pay to a big-sounding £63k. However, even working on a very conservative assumption that the union secures RPI-level increases over that period, and that RPI runs at an average of 3%, the element of the deal that

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