Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2010

PCS conference: Preparing for action

National Gallery workers, members of the PCS, walk out against low pay, photo Paul Mattsson

National Gallery workers, members of the PCS, walk out against low pay, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Meeting barely a week after the horsetrading between the establishment parliamentary parties had finished, the 2010 conference of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) was an important event. It was clear to all delegates that the new Con-Dem government was determined to make working people pay for a crisis of the capitalist system and civil servants would be on the front line facing many of these attacks.

Greg Maughan

But, just days before the conference began, a high court appeal ruled that changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme were unlawful. It makes a change for a judge to rule on the side of workers but, as delegates explained, it was not the legal challenge on its own that won but the three days of solid strike action and other campaigning that backed it.

Initiated by Brown's Labour government, huge cuts to the compensation scheme were made in preparation for whole swathes of job cuts on the cheap. The defeat of those changes was a boost of confidence for the conference delegates. But delegates realised that attacks from the employer and the government are only just beginning.

National Gallery workers, members of the PCS, walk out against low pay, photo Paul Mattsson

National Gallery workers, members of the PCS, walk out against low pay, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Discussion took place around the need for industrial action to defend jobs and services. In particular the question of coordinated action across the public sector came up.

PCS is pledged to call on the TUC to organise a national demonstration against public sector cuts as a step towards such coordinated action. If the TUC holds back from this, the PCS will have to take the lead in forming a coalition of the willing, drawing together the best militant trade unions to call such a demo in their name.

Chris Baugh, PCS assistant general secretary, addresses the National Gallery workers, who walked out against low pay, photo Paul Mattsson

Chris Baugh, PCS assistant general secretary, addresses the National Gallery workers, who walked out against low pay, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The conference was unified on the need to organise the 'fight of our lives' against Con-Dem cuts and on the tactics to take things forward, with full democratic debate hammering out and developing these tactics.

This is a testament to activists in the PCS, with the Socialist Party playing a leading role in transforming the union over the last few years.

The very successful Socialist Party conference meeting was attended by about 80 delegates and nearly 1,300 was collected for the Socialist Party's Fighting Fund.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 26 May 2010:

Millionaire ministers butcher public services

Con-Dem cuts - 'only the beginning'

National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network conference: Time to organise against con/dem attacks

Support BA Cabin Crew

Socialist Party news and analysis

Royal Mail not for sale

NHS cuts: The Con-Dem sting in the tail

Fast News

Sri Lanka: One year after the war

Socialist Party national committee discusses building the fightback

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for action

Local government: Where's our pay award for 2010?

Fighting university cuts

Workplace news in brief


Young people: organise to fight the cuts

Socialist Party National Youth meeting

School student socialist

'Sussex Six' result

Students must pay, say the rich

Pamphlet: Our Education Under Attack: why a mass campaign is needed

Socialist Party feature

London 2012 Olympics: A big business spectacle

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: 2,500 hear Socialist MEP Joe Higgins declare week of action

Romania: Mass protests against EU/IMF deal

Puerto Rico: Students and workers fight austerity cuts


Education under attack: Con-Dem government prepares for battle

Unions must defend public services

Tory government says rich must pay less


Diane Abbott and the Labour Party leadership battle


Home   |   The Socialist 26 May 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleTate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

trianglePCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

triangleTate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"

triangleVote Yes in DWP ballot! Reject longer opening hours

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

Socialist Party:

triangleGrimsby Socialist Party: Solidarity with refugees - Oppose racism

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Covid - A young workers' charter

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The Marikana massacre in South Africa


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleThe Socialist: More than a newspaper

triangleFighting fund: One week to raise 3,444

Public sector:

triangleSouth Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign

trianglePCS elections: Support socialist candidates

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


The Socialist

The Socialist: More than a newspaper



Coventry: Socialist Students is back



Liverpool Council must save care homes



Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools


Fighting Fund

Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444



Workplace news in brief



Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed


Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'



Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges


National Shop Stewards Network

Lobbying for a lead from the TUC



Angry health workers demand 15% now!



Reinstate Richie Venton



Reinstate Tony Smith

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020