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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2010

PCS union rejects 'inevitable' cuts

The Tory/Liberal coalition plans to make working people pay for the crisis created by their friends in the banking industry and big business, by launching an unprecedented assault on the public sector. This will be resolutely opposed by the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS).

John McInally, national vice-president PCS, personal capacity

At its recent meeting, the national executive (NEC) agreed to campaign for the implementation of the anti-cuts strategy set out at conference. This includes building the widest possible campaign in the trade union movement and communities to defeat the cuts and privatisation programme.

PCS entirely rejects the propaganda from the main establishment parties and the press that cuts are inevitable. We also reject Cameron's calls for "consultation" on where cuts should fall, a cynical publicity stunt designed to divide workers and pick off unions and communities individually to prevent them fighting collectively.

Protecting services

The union will tackle the argument that there is a "need" for cuts head-on by producing material for members and activists exposing the lies that underpin this idea. While negotiating in members' interests, PCS will not get into the game of accepting there are 'deserving' and 'undeserving' public services. That is the road to division and defeat.

All public services are vital to the communities in which our members live and work, they are an investment, not a 'debt' and are key to improving the economy, including the private sector, which would lose at least 18 billion in spending, on the basis of suggested cuts.

PCS will campaign hard to ensure the alternative to the government's barbaric intentions to enrich the minority at the expense of the many is heard loud and clear.

PCS called for and organised activity on budget day on 22 June, including lunchtime workplace meetings and rallies and helped to organise and support public sector demonstrations and meetings.

Appeal to TUC

The NEC agreed to call on the TUC to organise a major national demonstration in defence of public services in the autumn of this year in London, and to effectively and properly organise for it.

President Janice Godrich raised this at the TUC general council and this will be discussed at an upcoming Public Sector Liaison Group.

PCS will do all it can to ensure the call for this demonstration, which has the potential to galvanise workers' opposition to cuts, gains the widest possible support.

The NEC has also called a meeting of PCS activists from the various groups, national branches and departmental bodies before the July NEC that will set out the union's strategy in greater detail.

Compensation scheme court victory

PCS has won another tremendous victory in court over the government's attempt to rip up our contracts under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, which covers redundancy payments, in order to push through cuts and privatisation on the cheap.

In May the judge ruled that the Labour government's attempts to impose detrimental changes were unlawful. The Cabinet Office would not agree the terms of the order with PCS and went back to court in an attempt, effectively, to water it down.

The judge has rejected this attempt and dealt a real blow to the government by effectively requiring it to enter into negotiations with the union if it wants to change the scheme, including on voluntary as well as compulsory redundancy.

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In The Socialist 23 June 2010:

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