Elect a Left Unity GEC in DWP; for a fighting, socialist, democratic union

Shortly PCS DWP Left Unity will be posting out our election leaflets; the attached is an image file for copying and sharing across social media. Re-electing a Left Unity GEC is extremely important. It has been LU that has led opposition to the cuts and closures facing staff in DWP. It has been LU GEC members who have turned up every morning to sites taking industrial action against closure. It was LU which fought for a collective agreement that has brought huge improvements to the flexibility at work that staff in DWP contact centres can use to control their own working days.

As well as securing thousands of additional staff in the last year, across DWP operations, it has been the LU-led GEC that has proved how ridiculous and poorly thought through DWP’s corporate hub strategy is, and which has fought the hardest against it. Watch out for the full PCS Left Unity leaflet and nominate all of the following candidates at your AGM. The list of conference elected posts is included below the image. Please nominate these as well.

DWP Conference Block Vote Elections –

Editorial Board – Steve Bramhill, Steve Franks, Josie Green

Scrutineers – Lindsay Miles, Charlie Sloan. Rory Souter, Josie Green

SOC – John Livingstone

GEAC  Grace Bellerby, Chris Clarke, Bridget Corcoran, Pauline Crawford, Lesley Crowden, Josie Green, Michelle Howlett, Colin Mack, Katya Lawder, Liz McGachey, Christine Oliver, Colin Turner.

GWAC – Grace Bellerby, Emily Boucher, Chris Clarke, Bridget Corcoran, Pauline Crawford, Lesley Crowden, Stacia Hills, Katya Lawder, Liz McGachey, Christine Oliver, Viv Perkins, Sian Thomas,

GBMC – Vipin Dattani, Jeremy Bedford

GLGBTC –  Jeremy Bedford, Bridget Corcoran, David Cunningham, Claire Keogh, Stephen Finch, Graham Soulsby, Colin Turner

YMAC –  Fiona Brittle, Craig Jackson, Graham Soulsby, Claire Keogh,

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Get your Left Unity leaflets here – build a fighting, socialist, democratic union

Below are image files that can be shared on social media. If you want to print out the leaflet, a PDF version is available by clicking on this link. The Democracy Alliance, of PCS Left Unity and the PCS Democrats, has been at the forefront of efforts to build a united campaign across the labour movement to fight on pay.

At TUC, we were instrumental in pressing the demand for a 5% pay rise across the public sector. Our concerted campaign included the 2017 ballot on pay, saw an unprecedented 48.8% of members turn out to vote in a national ballot, with huge votes in favour of smashing the cap and taking industrial action.

2018 must be the year that we beat the Tory anti-union laws; get involved – join PCS Left Unity, let’s win the elections to ensure our union has the leadership it deserves and let’s make sure our fight for a 5% pay rise, for the end of attacks on our redundancy protections and for a return to national collective bargaining across the entire civil service.

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PCS Left Unity: take united action to scrap the cap

Please find below a statement from the LUNC on the NEC decision to hold a consultative ballot.

Take united action to break the cap (printable PDF)

PCS will be holding pay briefings over the coming weeks and all comrades are asked to make sure that their BECs are attending, that you campaign for a massive Yes Yes vote in branches and that through trades councils, political tendacies and other organisations you encourage other unions to canvass their leadership to hold similar ballots and get behind the motion carried at the TUC congress calling for joint co-ordinated industrial action.

Please make sure that you print off copies of the statement to hand out at the briefings and any other union events between now and the end of the pay ballot.

Pay statement

PCS Left Unity welcomes and supports the decision of the PCS National Executive Committee to launch a consultative ballot of civil service members to secure a mandate for the scrapping of the public sector pay cap and that funds should be made available for an above inflation pay rise. Also – In the event of the government refusing to scrap the cap that the union achieve the strongest possible indication from members that they are prepared to take industrial action. Members will be informed that a further statutory ballot would be required before industrial action can take place.

This decision offers our union an unprecedented opportunity to build opposition to the pay cap and to build the organisational strength in our workplaces. Left Unity urges all activists to unite in the strongest possible effort to deliver the best possible YES-YES vote to ensure the weak Tory government gets the clear message – we will not tolerate this attack on our living standards any longer.

The ballot, the resolution carried at the TUC Congress and the debates at the fringes should send a clear message to the leaders of the TUC that paying lip service to Congress policy on building a joint coordinated campaign and industrial action is no longer acceptable. The Tories must not be allowed to divide public sector workers by giving minor concessions to “deserving” workers, as they have done with their cynical attempt of offering the prison officers 1.7% and the police 2%, while maintaining the cap for the “undeserving”. Critically, the PCS campaign makes clear that breaking the cap in itself is not enough – adequate funding must also be secured to ensure all public sector received an above inflation pay increase.

Left Unity believes that other public sector unions should follow the example of PCS and organise similar ballots to build the maximum pressure on the Tories to deliver a fair and equitable settlement across all of the public sector.

The Trade Union Act was designed to impose a legal obstacle to workers taking industrial action and while this barrier is not insuperable the TUC must now implement the RMT motion passed at last year’s Congress that called for a special conference for the movement to plan a strategy to overcome this barrier.

The ballot will run from Monday 9th October to Monday 6th November and the full resources of PCS and its activists must be concentrated on winning the greatest mandate possible. Delivering this campaign plan must be the top priority for Left Unity and all PCS activists.

The Tories believe they can hang on to power to prevent a Corbyn government. Along with the political pressure it is now imperative that the trade union movement fights to address the many grievances their members have. Pay is the issue that can unite millions as pensions did in 2010-11 – But this time joint coordinated campaign and action must be seen through until the pay cap is scrapped and ALL public sector workers receive an above-inflation rise.

Gordon Rowntree
National Secretary

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LU statement on GE 2017 – unions must step up the fight against austerity

Demonstration in Glasgow, 15/6/17, launched by students and trade unionists to call for an end to austerity

Theresa May called a snap election with the intention of winning a landslide mandate to continue austerity and use the Brexit negotiations to turn Britain into a low wage tax haven. Instead she lost seats while the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party won seats, resulting in a hung Parliament.

Her credibility and authority are in shreds and her leadership is hanging by a thread. Deprived of a stable government to push through their agenda the Tories have been forced into a humiliating pact with the reactionary Democratic Unionist Party.

May has no mandate for austerity, including the pay freeze, office closures, cuts to jobs and services and attacks on the welfare state and National Health Service.

The Tories along with the media and the Blairites are now attempting to regain control by invoking the ‘National Interest’. Despite talk of the ‘end of austerity’ the ruling class will not abandon their cuts and privatisation programme without a struggle.

Left Unity demands the trade union movement now fully mobilises to build on the surge of support for the anti-austerity Corbyn manifesto. The TUC must, as a matter of priority, call a national demonstration to end austerity, the public sector pay freeze and to defend the NHS. It must now implement the policy moved by PCS and passed by Congress for joint, coordinated public sector action to end the pay freeze. And it must organise an emergency conference to discuss how to build resistance to the Trade Union Act.

The election result vindicates the PCS political strategy put forward by the Democracy Alliance National Executive Committee and agreed by Conference 2017 to give the maximum support allowable under union rules to support Corbyn’s anti-austerity manifesto, including supporting anti-austerity candidates. This resulted in applications to the NEC from branches to support anti-austerity candidates..

Left Unity recognises that in Scotland many PCS members cast their vote for the Scottish National Party as the best way of preventing a Tory government, not least of all because the Scottish Labour leader called for a vote for the Tories in some areas to prevent a second Independence Referendum.

Under its left leadership PCS should now step up its campaigns to defend members’ interests through its industrial and political strategies. Demands already placed on the employer to stop cuts in jobs and services should be pursued more vigorously than ever. Full support will be given to members resisting Tory cuts and attacks. PCS should also step up its work building links with other unions, especially so through town and city comnittees.

PCS has an unequalled record fighting the Tories austerity programme and the Alternative the union advocated was a key influence on the Labour manifesto that galvanised millions, including 72% of youth to vote for hope over despair. Building support amongst the youth is of significant importance in this period and LU believes there is a key role for the Young Members Network with thousands of new staff being recruited, many of whom will be apprenticeships and fixed term appointments.

Left Unity will be at the forefront of building opposition to this weak government and campaign for the early election of an anti-austerity government with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister.

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Janice Godrich: use your vote in Group Elections and vote Left Unity!

Janice Godrich, national president of PCS, re-elected for the 16th time by members, writes in a personal capacity to encourage all PCS members to vote for Left Unity candidates in the DWP Group Elections. The decisive win for the socialist left in the NEC elections must be replicated at Group level if we are to continue our fight against austerity.

Posted in Elections

Vote for Left Unity in DWP Group Elections

Group elections open tomorrow. If you want battle-tested union reps to lead the union in DWP, then the only option is to vote for all Left Unity candidates.

Download and display our 2017 poster.

Our record is clear. At a time when the Tory government is intent upon smashing trade unionism in Britain, our union has won victories in DWP. The best Flexible Working Hours Agreement in DWP applied in the old Benefits Directorate. Our GEC, through campaigns and negotiations, won the extension of this to the rest of DWP. With application of direct pressure from members, our GEC won extra Christmas leave in Universal Credit. “Schedule adherence”, the essential micro-management tool in our contact centres, has been ended through the patient work done by the GEC. We have won thousands of new staff, and, at a time when DWP has been committed to recruiting only temporary staff, we have campaigned successfully for the conversion of huge numbers to permanent contracts.

All of this rests upon the strength of members, organised in the workplace. With thousands of new members recruited and dozens of new reps trained, LU is key to organising a fighting, democratic union in DWP.


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Fight the cuts: re-elect a Democracy Alliance NEC

The events of the past year, with several members of other groups elected to the National Executive Committee, have clearly demonstrated that the “opponents” of Left Unity do not have an alternative strategy to beat the cuts and are unable to work with the left within the union to maximise unity amongst members. Below is a cogent explanation of all the things our NEC has fought for and achieved, with our support as members, over the past year.

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Left Unity would welcome the election of Jeremy Corbyn as PM

The National Committee of PCS Left Unity, elected every year by all members of Left Unity, have agreed the following statement on the General Election.

Statement from LUNC on the General Election

No To Austerity – No To The Tories

Left Unity is issuing this statement in response to the calling of an early general election. This announcement from Theresa May has surprised a lot of people given that she ruled it out only a few weeks ago. As socialists in PCS, we believe that this election gives us an opportunity to get rid of this vicious Tory government and for our union to effectively intervene in the election to put forward our anti-Austerity Alternative in the interests of our members and class.”

Theresa May’s pretext for calling an early election, is for the Tories to gain a clear mandate on their BREXIT strategy. This doesn’t fool anyone. No doubt the Tories will seek to ensure that BREXIT will dominate the election campaign. However, we must ensure that the issues important to PCS members and their families are raised at every opportunity. We have faced the brunt of attacks from this Governments austerity programme. This includes thousands of job cuts and redundancies, office closures, attacks on wages, pensions and terms and conditions.

PCS members have suffered the most prolonged squeeze on wages since the Civil Service was formed. Many of our members are also suffering as a result of the more generalised attacks on the welfare state. Benefits cuts are leaving millions unable to feed themselves and their families. The NHS are facing life-threatening cuts and further threats of large scale privatisation. The widespread use of zero hours contracts which are taking us back to the early days of the last century. The housing and education crises in working class communities are acute. All these need to be challenged in the lead up to the ballot on June 8th.

One of the first things that the Tories did after they were last elected was to introduce new ultra-draconian anti-trade union laws. These make it illegal to strike unless 50% vote in favour with at least a 50% turn-out – even though they themselves were only elected by 24% of the population. They are doing this to neutralise any effective opposition to the further attacks they are planning to both the welfare state and workers’ rights.

PCS Left Unity welcomed the election and re-election of Jeremy Corbyn on an anti-austerity programme. He has provided unwavering support to PCS campaigns over many years. In particular, he and his supporters, especially John McDonnell have stood with us on our central campaign for an alternative to austerity and an end to the cuts in pay, jobs and pensions.

It is vital that he launches an election campaign based on socialist policies. Central to that is opposing austerity and putting firmly back on the agenda the whole question of the re-building of the welfare state and the public sector, including re-nationalisation to ensure that workers and communities alike are protected. This is both a political choice and an economic necessity. PCS must ensure that the promises he has made to our members are delivered.

The election is also going to raise major issues for our members in the nations. There is thethe possibility of a second Independence Referendum in Scotland and a  greatly complicated political situation in Northern Ireland due to the suspension of the Assembly.

Immigration is another area that has already been raised by the right wing press as an issue. PCS will continue toto oppose all forms of racism and campaign for workers unity.

In this election PCS members should support those candidates who commit to policies which are aligned with those of the union, especially on the issue of austerity and its effects. Left Unity would therefore welcome the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister of a Labour Government committed to anti-austerity policies.

Whatever the outcome of the general election it is important that we have a PCS leadership that is capable of facing  the challenges that face our union and its members.  It is vital to secure a Democracy Alliance victory with which to defend pay, jobs and services.and Left Unity urges everyone to work hard to achieve this.

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A personal message from PCS President, Janice Godrich

Janice Godrich, national president of PCS, writes to all members to urge them to vote in the national union elections and to re-elect her, to continue the fight with the government office – whether in the Cabinet Office or at Departmental level – to win gains for our members on pay, terms and conditions and our rights at work.

Posted in Elections

Vote Democracy Alliance in the 2017 NEC elections

There is one option in the NEC elections 2017, for members who want a democratic, fighting union, who want an experienced leadership that can build genuine campaigns, not just carp and make up slogans on the sidelines. That option is to vote for the Democracy Alliance.Vote Democracy Alliance in 2017

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