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Unity against low pay
PCS Annual Delegate Conference meets this week at a critical time. On the back of another successful one-day strike on 1 May, delegates will no doubt welcome a discussion on the way forward and strategy for the national dispute over job cuts, pay and contracting out.
Mark Baker, PCS National Executive Committee (NEC), personal capacity
Our opponents both inside the union and among the employers doubted that we could deliver further action with the same level of support as our first one-day strike in January. They were proved wrong. The NEC will be putting a comprehensive emergency motion to conference giving all delegates the opportunity to vote on it.
A key part of the strategy will be involving other public-sector unions, particularly in the struggle against Brown's 2% pay cap. Teachers, health and postal workers have all voted for national action ballots in recent weeks and other union speakers applauded the PCS strategy at rallies on 1 May.
Whenever the question of a one-day public-sector strike and a national demonstration was raised it received an enthusiastic response. A meeting of the TUC Public Sector Forum takes place on 11 May.
Conference will also discuss all the other policy and campaigning issues facing the union, including how we improve the participation of under-represented groups of members in the union. A motion calling for the removal of reserved seats for Black members would be a big set-back for the union if passed and should be opposed.
Other motions calling for reserved seats for other under-represented groups should also however not be carried at this stage.
The NEC has submitted its own resolution to conference, which calls for an over-arching debate on this important issue and it calls for a wider consultation within the union. It would therefore be wrong to approach this in a piecemeal way. That is the reason why the NEC is calling for this resolution to be remitted.
PCS conference is a model for other unions to follow, with a high level of lay member participation and Conference being recognised as the sovereign policy-making body of the union. The current NEC has, unlike its predecessors, been faithful to these policies. The debate and vote around the forward strategy for our dispute is critical to its continuing success.
In The Socialist 10 May 2007:
Socialist Party election analysis
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party workplace news