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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 May 2018

PCS: A fighting strategy to defeat the Tory pay cap

PCS members in Bristol demonstrating against the government's pay cap, photo Roger Thomas

PCS members in Bristol demonstrating against the government's pay cap, photo Roger Thomas   (Click to enlarge)

Marion Lloyd, PCS national executive committee member and PCS Left Unity chair (personal capacity)

The PCS civil service union pay claim for a fully funded pay increase of 5% or 1,200 minimum and a commitment to centralised bargaining has been rejected by the Tory government. Talks are ongoing but they are refusing to lift the budgeted 1% spending limit on civil servants' pay.

PCS members, in common with the rest of the public sector, have had a pay cut in real terms over the last ten years. But although very limited concessions beyond the pay cap limit have been made in health and local government there is, at this point, nothing more on offer for civil servants. This contrast in treatment is magnified by the offer to PCS Scottish government members of about 4%.

This is the background to the debate on pay which will take place at PCS conference on 22 May. The Democracy Alliance leadership (Left Unity/PCS Democrats) is proposing to carry forward the union's pay campaign to a statutory ballot of members, soon after conference. This will be in support of the union's pay claim and in the absence of significant progress in talks with the government.

In November 2017 the union convincingly won a consultative ballot rejecting the pay cap and in support of action. A statutory ballot can be won and conference needs to agree a strategy which will put the union in the best possible position to win the vote. This means one which is based on the maximum involvement of the activist layer in the union, in groups and branches, campaigning for and delivering a 'yes' vote. Also, our strategy must include linking up and coordinating with other unions prepared to fight on pay.

The pay campaign will unleash the anger and resentment felt by members on pay. It will also bring to the fore the many other grievances of our members on a whole number of issues ranging from office closures to attacks on pensions and redundancy pay.

Vote for Democracy Alliance/Left Unity slates in the PCS NEC and Group Executive elections which close at noon on 10 May and 15 May respectively

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 9 May 2018:


Local elections 2018

Local election results are a major warning sign for Labour

The Tusc results

Southampton: Keith Morrell, anti-cuts councillor, re-elected

Haringey councillors need to fight austerity now

TUSC vote up in Waltham Forest but many voters stay away

TUSC stands against Birmingham council's cuts and attacks on workers

Strong TUSC result in Huddersfield


France '68

France '68: History's greatest general strike erupts


Socialist Party news and analysis

US president suggests gun control to blame for London knife deaths

Use TUC march as launch pad for action on pay

Breast cancer screening scandal


Israel/Palestine

Socialists fight for Palestinian liberation and workers' unity

Socialists in Israel-Palestine reject establishment antisemitism charge against Jeremy Corbyn


Obituaries

Roger Shrives, 5 April 1947 - 1 May 2018

Keith Pattenden 28 September 1955 - 1 May 2018

Obituary: Tony Byrne 1939 - 2018


Socialist Party workplace news

Hull Energy Works: Unofficial strike action reinstates victimised workers

Defend Hull FE College - defend our city!

Victory against academisation at Avenue Primary

Firefighters ballot for action

PCS: A fighting strategy to defeat the Tory pay cap


International socialist news and analysis

Teachers revolt in Trump country

China: Impressive, coordinated and daring crane drivers' strikes

CWI news in brief


 

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triangleUnsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

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