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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 April 2019

PCS union: strikes against poverty pay and job losses - vote Yes in national pay ballot

PCS members on strike at BEIS, photo Helen Pattison

PCS members on strike at BEIS, photo Helen Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

PCS members in the Socialist Party

PCS national pay ballot - one week to go

With just a few more days to go until the PCS national pay ballot closes on 29 April, the 50% voter turnout threshold set down in the Tory anti-union laws has been reached by many branches.

Another big push is needed. A big 'yes' vote backed up with an industrial action strategy of sustained, national, group and targeted action can win a much-needed above the pay cap pay rise.

Other civil service and public sector unions should ballot their members for joint action across the public sector to end years of pay restraint.

PCS outsourced members fight poverty pay

There is growing anger across Whitehall from outsourced staff working in government departments over poverty pay and Victorian-like terms and conditions. The latest group of workers to take strike action are Interserve facilities staff at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

They will strike for two days on 1-2 May over the company's refusal to negotiate with PCS on redundancies, contractual changes to pay dates, and attacks on holiday pay and sick pay.

The planned action by Interserve members follows on from strike action by Aramak and ISS cleaners at the department for Business, Energy, Industry and Skills (BEIS).

PCS members have been taking strike action since the start of the year demanding the living wage of 10.55 an hour (the Living Wage Foundation's London Living Wage) and terms and conditions comparable with civil servants.

So far Aramark and ISS have refused to meet the cleaners' demands on pay. They have been on strike three times to demand a fair wage, and are determined to continue strike action until they win.

HMRC's Wolverhampton office in strike ballot to save their office

PCS members in HMRC's Wolverhampton office are being balloted for strike action and a work-to-rule to save their office from closure.

A successful vote for industrial action in Wolverhampton, and a strategy to spread the campaign to other offices threatened with closure, will also strengthen the campaign to save the HMRC Ealing office.

There has been three full days and two half days of strike action by PCS members in Ealing so far and they are currently planning their next steps. Other HMRC offices threatened with closure should follow the lead of members at Wolverhampton and Ealing and ballot members.

Re-elect Chris Baugh as the PCS assistant general secretary

The election for the PCS assistant general secretary is now well under way. Socialist Party member and incumbent, Chris Baugh, received 86 branch nominations which is by far the largest number for any of the candidates. Chris is opposed to all cuts and austerity and in support of the PCS national campaign on pay.

Chris has helped steer the union through difficult times over the removal of the check-off facility for paying union subs, cuts to facility time and attacks on members terms and conditions.

He has given unmatched support to PCS members in local and group disputes and campaigns. The election closes on 9 May. Make sure you vote for Chris Baugh and return your ballot paper in time.

Chris is the candidate supported by PCS Left Unity - the union's broad left. Socialist Party members Marion Lloyd and Dave Semple are standing for re-election to the national executive committee on the Democracy Alliance slate - supported by PCS Left Unity and the PCS Democrats. Vote for them and all other candidates on the Democracy Alliance slate.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 24 April 2019:


What we think

How to save the planet? End capitalism; Socialist change


Socialist Party news and analysis

Northern Ireland: killing of Lyra McKee

Sri Lanka: No to terrorist bombing - united workers' struggle can cut off growth of racism and division


Socialist Party feature

The striking relevance of Leon Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution


Workplace news and analysis

PCS union: strikes against poverty pay and job losses - vote Yes in national pay ballot

Doncaster NHS strike to stop terms and conditions attack


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Austerity must go! Kick out the Tories - we need a Socialist Alternative

Leicester mayoral husting: only two choices - stop the cuts or make the cuts

Housing associations - stop the segregation

Shac to name and shame housing bosses


May Day greetings

Socialist May Day greetings 2019


 

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Related links:

PCS:

triangleChange in leadership needed to secure union's future

triangleBenefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

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triangleAnti-academy strikes kick off in Redbridge

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triangleDrivers and passenger assistants employed by Hackney council in the Special Education Needs Service have won a victory - click here for info.

Chris Baugh:

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