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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2022

DWP reps demand action from PCS leadership

  (Click to enlarge)

Craig Worswick, secretary, PCS DWP Greater Manchester branch (personal capacity)

More than 60 DWP PCS reps and activists met in a national Zoom meeting called by PCS DWP Greater Manchester branch on 19 January. The meeting agreed a number of demands that urgently need to be placed on the bosses. It also called for real leadership from the PCS DWP group executive committee, dominated by the Left Unity leadership of the union.

The demands agreed include a renegotiation of Covid-19 safety measures, permanent jobs for thousands of members employed on short-term contracts, and a root-and-branch evaluation of working conditions and work pressures throughout the largest government department. The meeting further called for a national strike ballot of all members if the demands are not met.

The meeting was formally endorsed by around a dozen branches and two regions but was outrageously deemed to be unconstitutional by unelected full-time officers, who, rather than engage with activists demanding more from the leadership, outlined their limited successes over the period of the pandemic. The Greater Manchester branch executive committee defied the Left Unity attack on the democratic right of branches to meet with each other to discuss the urgency of a national response to the issues we face.

The DWP provides vital services to millions of people across the country, including ensuring that social security payments are made to those made unemployed by the pandemic. The leverage conditions are there to ensure members can win huge concessions, but the Left Unity leadership has been unwilling to place confidence in members and lead any campaign. Despite verbally committing their support to branches willing to fight, little in the way of effective coordination of branches is done.

The mood among members has reached boiling point, and activists and reps demand firm leadership and an effective strategy.

The Broad Left Network which brings together activists wanting to rebuild the strength of the union, and which includes Socialist Party members, backed the reps' meeting, and continues to call for better leadership and for a campaign to be developed.

A second reps' meeting was agreed which will take place after the scheduled two-day group executive committee meeting on 26-27 January. This next meeting of reps is to discuss what will be required if the group executive is unwilling to act.

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In The Socialist 26 January 2022:


What we think

We need a workers' alternative to big business Tories and Labour


News

Lords reject parts of anti-protest bill

News in brief

Social care providers put profit before residents' needs - nationalise care now


Cost of living

Cost of living crisis


Trade unions and the cuts

Trade unions and the fight against council cuts


Workplace news

Barts NHS workers strike back

Sheffield Just Eat strikers step up action and hold mass rally

Oaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools

Education: Workload and inflation goes up, incomes fall

DWP reps demand action from PCS leadership

10,000 tube workers vote to strike - don't make workers pay for TfL funding crisis

Strike action by Carmarthenshire winter gritters wins concessions from council

Universities: Strike action at 68 in two disputes

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers begin ninth week of strike action


International news

Trade unionists in the USA fighting back


Campaigns news

Hundreds protest to save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Wakefield TUSC - Fighting for low-paid workers and NHS

Eviction resistance on the march in Waltham Forest

This is students' chance to fight back - help build 2 March NUS walkout

Selling the Socialist


Environment

Britain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'


Readers' opinion

War in Yemen, made in Harlow, profit for rich

Somers 'slaughterhouse' Forge

UK Covid-19 mortality similar to Spanish Flu

It's my party, and I'll lie if I want to


 

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Related links:

DWP:

trianglePCS 2022 elections

triangleJobcentre Coronavirus outbreak leads to reps meeting call

triangleHarsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

triangleUnite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

triangleTory cuts to UC: we need a union fightback

Reps:

triangleSafety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

triangleUnite members step up action against bullying Mungo's managers

triangleFight for a socialist leadership in PCS, build a fighting, democratic union!

triangleUnison: Elect reps who will back strike action

PCS:

trianglePCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership

trianglePCS consultative pay and conditions ballot - vote 'Yes'

triangleDVLA ballot turnout falls short of threshold

Greater Manchester:

triangleManchester death rate caused by deprivation

triangleWorking-class based campaign needed

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