7 January activist conference should debate way forward on pensions

Submitted by martin on 19 December, 2011 - 6:26

PCS Left Unity has called a broad pension-activist conference for 7 January. But a fight will be needed to get the conference organisers to allow motions and debate.

The conference is 11:00--16:00, at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London, opposite Euston Station.

The Independent Left in PCS, and many activists across other public sector unions, will be proposing a plan [see below]. So far, however, conference organisers have not agreed to take motions, but say they will have an official statement that can be spoken on.

PCS Independent Left and other activists will also be organising a fringe meeting after the conference, from 16:30 at University College London (exact room tba), to discuss how rank-and-file networks can be built in the unions and fight to continue the pensions campaign.

The official call for the conference says:

"The PCS Left Unity National Committee invites all activists from all unions to an organising conference on the 7th of January to debate how we can build the campaign to defend our pensions and fight the cuts and prevent any unacceptable “deal” that makes us work longer, pay more and get less.

"This will be an organising conference, not just a debating forum. It is intended to arm activists with the issues so they can go back to their workplaces and into their unions in order to build a campaign that will secure justice on pensions.

"To cover costs there will be a registration fee of £5 for waged delegates."



Submitted by martin on Sat, 31/12/2011 - 13:54

Motion from PCS Independent Left and other activists to 7 January conference

This conference believes

1. That defeat in the pensions dispute - that is, anything short of defence of existing pensions arrangements - will embolden the government in its other attacks on the public sector and the whole
working class.

This conference further believes

1. That our response to capitulation by some union leaderships cannot simply be to lobby. We need to fight for democratic control in the dispute, including:
- Demanding emergency meetings of all union executives to discuss and vote on proposals;
- Every union to call national reps meetings to do the same;
- Ballots on any proposed agreement or ′basis for negotiations’ cited as grounds for suspending the action;
- The widest possible discussion and voting in branches, strike committees and trades councils.
2. That those unions which do not accept the government's "new" proposals should continue the campaign of action, announcing new strike dates quickly, and seek to draw others (back) in.
3. That one further day of action will not be enough to defeat the government.
4. That we need the widest possible discussion of how to win, including escalating national action, selective and targeted action, levies for strike funds, and sustained action short of a strike, as well as a political campaign focused on the need to fund decent pensions for all workers by making the rich pay.

This conference resolves

1. To launch a campaign on the lines set out above.
2. To elect an interim Steering Committee to oversee this.
3. To call a delegate conference, open to all but with voting delegates from branches, trades councils and other working-class organisations, and seek support for this from all the union broad lefts/rank-and-file organisations and national anti-cuts campaigns.

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