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 dominated for a long time by the Socialist Party and its allies.
Chris Baugh, an SP member, has been Assistant General Secretary since 2004, and says he wants to stand again. But this time round he lost the vote for the support of the PCS Left Unity group, within which the SP is influential. He was opposed by Janice Godrich, also an SP member, who has been President of the PCS for 18 years, but now wanted to stand for AGS.
The Left Unity voting results were announced, showing Godrich ahead. The SP said that the count failed to include some votes which should have been included. A Left Unity conference on 1 December agreed to include the extra votes, but Godrich still won, and Godrich supporters dominated the newly¬elected Left Unity committee. Soon after, however, Godrich said that ill health would prevent her from standing for AGS. As we go to press, we do not know whether Left Unity will now back Baugh, or try to nominate a third alternative.
The political differences between Godrich and Baugh are murky. Mark Serwotka, who has been General Secretary of the PCS since 2000, is not a Socialist Party member, and was elected General Secretary without the support of the SP, but has worked closely with them since then: he has backed Godrich against Baugh. The SWP, a relatively small force in the union, has also backed Godrich. Whatever the outcome of those wranglings, John Moloney and the Independent Left will work to propose a working-class socialist alternative.