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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 February 2022

PCS consultative pay and conditions ballot - vote 'Yes'

  (Click to enlarge)

Dave Semple, PCS and Socialist Party

The PCS union which organises civil service and public sector workers is holding a consultative ballot of its members on pay and conditions. The ballot, which takes place between 14 February and 21 March, will test support for the union's 2022 claim, and the readiness of members to take action. The ballot will be by both post and electronically.

The union's claim includes a number of elements besides pay such as:

The inclusion of demands beyond pay is something Socialist Party members proposed in previous ballots. We argued this would help win. This union leadership derisively dismissed our arguments as "shopping list bargaining". We welcome the change of approach, although we believe that the demands should include other issues of membership concern such as staffing and safety.

Socialist Party members in the union will be working hard for a massive 'Yes' vote, and for a national campaign which is overdue following two years of inaction, with the union leadership offering no resistance to the government pay restrictions.

We will argue for a massive 'Yes' vote to demonstrate membership anger over pay, and these other issues, especially in the face of huge increases in living costs. Prices generally are expected to go up by over 7% - a thirty-year high. Devastating fuel bills and the National Insurance increase will add to this bleak outlook.

We will be pushing for a massive turnout to show the 50% statutory ballot threshold - required by the Tory anti-union laws - can be achieved. Previous statutory ballots have come close to the 50% threshold but failed to clear it. A national disaggregated statutory ballot would give those groups of members who clear the threshold a legal mandate for action. This is what we will put forward and argue for.

The union's current Left Unity leadership parked the union's 2020 pay claim as a national unity gesture, and then embraced concession bargaining (trading conditions for pay), to avoid taking on the government pay freeze.

For these reasons it goes into this ballot with a question mark over how serious it is about challenging the government. It needs to spell out what sort of action will be taken and demonstrate it is actively seeking to join up with other public sector unions to form a coalition of the willing to take on this weak, scandal-riddled Tory government.

Vote 'Yes' to the 2022 claim, vote 'Yes' for a national campaign and vote 'Yes' for action.

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In The Socialist 9 February 2022:


TUSC

No one in Westminster backs a pay rise for us...

Preparing for the council and Erdington elections


News

Cut our fuel bills - nationalise energy

'I'm dreading trying to live on a nurse's salary'

Cuts created NHS waiting list crisis

Oxfam 'Inequality Kills' report

Tories' 'levelling up' falls well short

Tories' 'partygate' crisis continues - kick them out


What we think

Catastrophic energy bill hike - a crisis made by capitalism


Workplace news

Force back Serco and Barts management!

Support the university strikes!

Tesco slashes jobs and customer service

Just Eat couriers drive chief exec out of town as strike spreads

Scunthorpe scaffs mark 100 days of strike action with protests

Perfect storm brewing in education

PCS consultative pay and conditions ballot - vote 'Yes'


Campaigns news

King's student union refuses to back staff strike and NUS walkout

A socialist voice in Stanwell North

Tamil Solidarity protest against repressive Sri Lankan regime

Socialist Party youth meeting: Mood is changing - socialist ideas growing

Swansea Trades Council pledges to fight local government cuts

The Socialist: 25 years of assisting workers' struggles and fighting for socialism


International news

Pro-market Socialist Party wins Portugal's election


Debate

Does the fight for Trans rights conflict with women's rights?


 

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