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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2019

PCS Left Unity chooses Chris Baugh - unite behind the left AGS and NEC slate

Chris Baugh out supporting PCS members on strike

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

Socialist Party members in PCS

Left Unity, the broad left in civil servants' union PCS, has voted for Chris Baugh to be its candidate for assistant general secretary (AGS).

Socialist Party member Chris Baugh is the union's current AGS who was first elected in 2004. He will stand for a fourth term in the 2019 PCS election.

The 2019 PCS election has already started with nominations being sought for AGS and the national executive committee (NEC). The closing date for nominations is 7 March. Left Unity, working with the PCS Democrats, under the banner of Democracy Alliance, has a full slate of candidates which can be found at chrisbaughpcs.wordpress.com.

A delay in Left Unity announcing its candidate was caused by a decision to rerun its election. This increases the need for Left Unity members to act quickly in nominating Chris Baugh for AGS along with the rest of the slate.

Chris Baugh has an outstanding record in the union and in building the left. He attended the founding conference of the broad left of PCS's predecessor union in 1977 and later became Left Unity chair. As an activist, Chris played a major role in democratising the union and in making it accountable to its lay rep structures. He was elected as a union vice president and president of the Land Registry Group. His union lay rep experience is unrivalled and his record as AGS and union treasurer is outstanding.

In the PCS election Chris Baugh is likely to be opposed by two other candidates. John Moloney, from the Independent Left and Lynn Henderson, a PCS full-time officer.

Lynn Henderson is supported by PCS general secretary and Left Unity member Mark Serwotka. It needs to be made clear that she has never been a member of Left Unity and has played no part in building the left or fighting the right wing.

Fighting record

This contrasts with every other Left Unity candidate for senior full-time official positions past and present. From John Macreadie, who stood for general secretary against the right wing in the 1980s, through to Chris Baugh (who came through the lay structures), Left Unity candidates have stood on its record and on building the left.

Left Unity members will recall Serwotka's very public commitment at PCS's 2018 annual conference and at Left Unity conference in December 2018 to support the candidate elected by Left Unity members. Serwotka is a member of Left Unity and instigated the challenge to Chris Baugh and who promoted his preferred candidates throughout the Left Unity election process.

To now refuse to accept the result because it did not go his way will be received badly by Left Unity members as it shows contempt for Left Unity and its democratic process.

Chris supports the need for a national pay campaign and national action. He has argued for a tactical discussion within the union at all levels to ensure that PCS gives itself the best chance a reaching the 50% voting thresholds in an industrial action ballot, and that delivers the action needed to defeat the Tories' pay cap.

Chris has made it clear that he will fight for the agreed pay strategy of the union in 2019 as he has always done. Can the same commitment be made to the Left Unity decision-making process by Lynn Henderson?

In the PCS elections there is a need to unite around the Democracy Alliance election campaign and the full slate of candidates.

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In The Socialist 30 January 2019:


What we think

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