By Chris Hickey
The PCS, a civil service union and one of the largest TUC affiliates, will soon be holding one of the most critical National Executive (NEC) elections it will ever hold.
The election has been called following a big membership vote to return to annual elections and legal action to enable the election to go forward when the NEC majority refused to co-operate with that membership decision. The NEC "Mods" are clearly scared that their days may be numbered, and they have good reason to be so.
The Mods' years of dominance have been marked by financial peculiarities, undemocratic abuses, and the waste of enormous sums of membership money in legal attacks on elected officials. In perhaps their most outrageous, but unsuccessful, act they launched a coup to replace the elected General Secretary Mark Serwotka with the unelected Barry Reamsbottom.
The Mods have presided over discriminatory performance related pay, low pay, an end to national pay, and the abolition of progression pay and privatisation. They put their relationship with Ministers and mandarins before the interests of members.
The Mods' coup attempt resulted in an unprecedented degree of unity across the union, and that unity will now be reflected in a common electoral front of Left Unity (including Socialist Caucus) and PCS Democrats. This electoral front will be standing on Conference policy and with the shared aim of clearing out the Mods.
Every decent PCS activist and member, whatever their differences with some of the Left Unity and Democrat candidates, should now throw themselves into the fight for a PCS cleansed of the Mods. Winning this election is a vital step to renewing PCS as a membership-led union fighting for members' interests.