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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 October 2018

PCS union: nominate Chris Baugh as Left Unity candidate for assistant general secretary

Chris Baugh out supporting PCS members on strike

Chris Baugh out supporting PCS members on strike   (Click to enlarge)

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

The left in the PCS union, PCS Left Unity, has started the democratic process to agree its programme for the union, and who will stand on the Left Unity ticket for the PCS 2019 national elections.

Meetings to agree nominations and motions are taking place until 26 October. These will be followed by voting meetings during November, culminating in the national Left Unity conference on 1 December.

A key issue will be who the Left Unity candidate is for the union's assistant general secretary (AGS).

Socialist Party member Chris Baugh is up for re-election. He has been the Left Unity candidate on three successive occasions since 2004, and won the union's election each time.

Chris is being challenged by Janice Godrich, the union's president. This challenge was started and is actively supported by the general secretary, Mark Serwotka, supposedly because of personal dislike and alleged inability to work with Chris.

But as the election process within PCS Left Unity has got under way, the 'justification' for standing against Chris has turned into a campaign of slurs, half-truths and distortions.

Chris Baugh's campaign is supported by the 'Re-elect Chris for AGS' campaign. Its focus is a programme which sets out what is needed to defend members.

Ballot tactics

A key example is pay and conditions. The 2018 pay strike ballot, despite a massive campaign and huge effort, fell short of the 50% turnout required under the Tories' vicious anti-union laws.

The response by Mark Serwotka, Janice Godrich and their supporters is inadequate - effectively, they want to do the same again in 2019, but be better organised and ballot earlier.

In contrast, we have called for a special delegate conference on pay, to draw on the experience of activists in 2018 and determine PCS's approach in 2019.

Key questions should be discussed. Should we consider 'disaggregated' ballots of each department - similar to the University and College Union, which delivered a successful national strike ballot? Should we include other issues like office closures, jobs and conditions - similar to the Communication Workers Union, which also delivered a successful national strike ballot?

Our opponents have called our suggestions, put forward at the September meeting of the PCS national executive committee, "wrecking" amendments. Now they are part of the union's national 'consultation'!

We want a full and democratic debate involving reps and members so we can prepare for a 2019 pay campaign on the strongest basis.

On union democracy, we stand for the election of all key full-time officers. On equality, we stand for the removal of all barriers which divide workers.

On political representation, we support the election of a Corbyn-led anti-austerity government, but with PCS maintaining its political independence. On PCS Left Unity itself, we stand for building a campaigning, rank-and-file organisation that defends and strengthens the lay democracy the left has fought so hard for.

Please visit the 'Re-elect Chris Baugh AGS' Facebook page and blog for more details of our programme and the full slate.

And at the Left Unity nomination meetings, please nominate and support the candidates below. This is a part of a slate which leaves places open to other candidates, indicating our willingness to work united with others in Left Unity, in the interests of our members and against government attacks.


National PCS elections

Nomination for Left Unity candidate for AGS: Chris Baugh

Nominations for Left Unity slate for the PCS national executive committee...

PCS Left Unity national committee

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In The Socialist 17 October 2018:


What we think

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Mental health

Fully fund mental health services now


Workplace news

PCS union: nominate Chris Baugh as Left Unity candidate for assistant general secretary

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Newham finance staff fight pay and grading insult


International socialist news and analysis

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Engels

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The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

PCS:

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Janice Godrich:

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