PCS

PCS Members: Vote yes to strike action on pay!

The PCS NEC has agreed to hold a re-ballot of civil service members this March. The ballot will run from the 18th of March to the 29th of April and will hopefully reach the 50% turnout required by the anti-union laws, falling 8% short of that threshold last year. The amount of members balloted this year as part of this national ballot is slightly less at 120,000 to allow bargaining units that are not ‘core civil service’ - and therefore not subject to the same pay regime - to choose to opt-in to the pay campaign. At the NEC PCS Independent Left made a number of alternative proposals to the...

PCS left focus on living wage

The civil service union PCS has just completed a membership consultation on the 2019 civil service pay claim and campaign plan. A February meeting of the union’s National Executive (NEC) will “press the button” for a new civil service pay ballot. At a December NEC, general secretary Mark Serwotka and the leadership proposed a pay claim of 8-10%. Phil Dickens, a member of the PCS Independent Left, the organisation where Workers’ Liberty activists organise in within the union, proposed the following alternative claim: •A living wage of £10/hour (£11.55 in London) for the lowest grades • Pay at...

PCS: how to change the union

John Moloney is the Independent Left candidate for Assistant General Secretary of the civil service union PCS. Nominations opened on 17 January, and close on 7 March. Voting will run from 16 April to 9 May. Three rival candidates from the “broad left” bloc which has run the union for many years are also in play — Chris Baugh (the incumbent), Stella Dennis, and Lynn Henderson — though one of those may withdraw. Moloney has given an interview to The Clarion outlining his platform in detail. One of the questions was: why is there so little to show for a decade and a half of “left” and “Marxist”...

Industrial news in brief

Care workers employed by charity Alternative Futures Group are balloting for strikes to resist a pay cut announced by their employer in November. The workers, who are members of Unison, face a cut of up to £40 following AFG bosses’ announcement that they will no longer pay an additional allowance for workers who sleep overnight at service users’ homes as part of their shift. AFG, whose work primarily comes from contracts tendered by local authorities, says that a July 2018 court ruling, which overturned previous rulings from 2017 and 2016, stipulates that they no longer have to top up the pay...

Industrial news in brief

Deliveroo riders in Bristol will strike on Friday 18 January, demanding higher pay and other demands which managers have repeatedly ignored. This follows a national courier strike on October 4, and a spontaneous strike in Bristol on December 11, which brought Bristol Deliveroo to a standstill. Riders are only paid per delivery, not guaranteed a minimum wage per hour or any workers rights. Hourly and weekly pay have steadily reduced. They plan repeated and escalating strikes until they win their demands. Many struggle financially to participate. They're planning to build a strike fund — watch...

PCS AGS election farce

Amidst farcical discord in the dominant Left Unity faction of the civil service union PCS, nominations open on 17 January for the union’s Assistant General Secretary. Voting will run from 16 April to 9 May. The AGS is the only full¬time officer other than the General Secretary elected by members. Months ago, the union’s president Janice Godrich (not a full¬time official as such, but someone seconded long¬term from her civil service job) announced that she would challenge Chris Baugh (the incumbent) for the Left Unity nomination. Both Godrich and Baugh were and remain members of the Socialist...

Bust up in PCS Left Unity

Bust up in PCS Left Unity shows it is time for a new start – Build a rank and file campaign for an AGS on a workers’ wage Left Unity, the dominant unofficial group within the civil service trade union PCS, has been gripped for six months by the biggest split within its ranks since it took full control of the Union in 2003. The faction fight began as a dispute over who would be Left Unity’ candidate fin the 2019 PCS election for Assistant General Secretary and took a dramatic (but somewhat sad) turn on Sunday 2 December when the candidate selected by LU, Janice Godrich, had to withdraw because...

Bust up in PCS Left Unity shows it's time for a new start

Click here for longer version of this article. In November, the PCS Independent Left (PCS IL) selected John Moloney, a genuine rank and file PCS activist with an outstanding campaigning and negotiating record, to contest the 2019 PCS election for Assistant General Secretary (AGS). Nominations open on 17 January, and voting will run from 16 April to 9 May. PCS’s dominant Left Unity (LU) faction has been divided since May into two warring camps, each backing a different member of the current PCS leadership to be the LU AGS candidate. The Socialist Party (SP) had chosen Chris Baugh, SP member...

Ructions in PCS

The Independent Left group in the PCS civil service workers’ union is standing John Moloney for Assistant General Secretary. Nominations open on 17 January, and balloting will run from 16 April to 9 May. The political platform on which John Moloney is standing is summarised here. It remains a possibility that the union machine will set the required number of branch nominations so high as to make it impossible for the Independent Left candidate to get on the ballot paper. But who the candidate will be to be favoured by such a restriction is not clear. A right-winger looks unlikely. PCS has been...

How to beat the threshold

Now that the Public and Commercial Services union is on course for another national ballot in March 2019, a key question is what we need to do to beat the 50% turnout threshold this time. One option might be a disaggregated ballot. The civil service is the largest ballot constituency in the trade union movement. Whilst other unions are larger than PCS, their membership is spread across a great many employers in the public and private sector. No other union is likely to need to take such a large number of members into a dispute at once as PCS, and certainly not on any kind of regular basis. A...

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