LU National Committee statement following pay ballot result

Scotland PCS reps and members rally during the pay strike ballot

The Left Unity NC would like to thank reps and members for the huge effort that went in to help deliver a massive vote for strike action in the pay ballot; 87% of those who voted supported strike action to break the pay cap and in support of our pay claim of a 5% (or £1200) and for central bargaining arrangements.

Despite winning a massive majority for industrial action the turnout fell short of the 50% needed to meet the threshold required by the undemocratic anti-trade union laws. In total 59,254 members voted which amounted to 41.6%.  This is very disappointing for our reps and members who worked so hard during the ballot but it is only a temporary set back. The Government will not be able to ignore this ballot result and the huge support for strike action. This is especially true for a Government that received the votes of only 28% of the electorate to gain power and is propped up by the reactionary DUP. 

Despite all the obstacles put in our path such as cuts to facility time, the removal of checkoff and draconian legislation aimed at crushing trade union and democratic rights the Government cannot hold back indefinitely the immense anger our members feel about pay and all the other attacks on jobs, terms and conditions. 

The level of union activity over the ballot period shows the willingness of members to support their union. There have been pay protests, carpark and street meetings, mass leafleting sessions at workplaces all over the UK. We have many more members active in our union now than before the ballot and 1700 new members. 

Left Unity has a key role to play in explaining why, on this occasion, we didn’t reach the 50% threshold, but also where we go from here. The union is stronger than before the ballot, which means we catch our breath, but quickly get on, to train and work alongside our new reps and advocates to build union strength in the workplaces which need support so that we meet the threshold next time around.  

 The union’s National Executive Committee has met and discussed where we go from here. Crucial to this is bringing members together to discuss and prepare the next stage of our pay campaign. We cannot lose the momentum created over the last few months and the high level of member involvement in union activity. There will be battles in groups over pay as each department attempts to impose the 1 – 1.5% pay cap once again or awards slightly higher than this but in return wants to make cuts to jobs, terms and conditions. Left Unity will use its influence in the union to ensure we hold the line in all groups for our pay demands and give support to those parts of the union prepared to fight the pay cap and link these areas in joint industrial action where we can.  

 PCS and the other civil service unions must demand the Government re-opens negotiations on the pay remit. PCS must continue to fight for our claim of 5% or £1,200 and for central bargaining arrangements. We support the move for a judicial review of the governments pay remit agreed by all the civil service unions as an important part of the campaign. But crucial to how we go forward from here is to build on the work done during the ballot to strengthen our union. The fight goes on to win pay justice for all our members. 

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PCS LU Statement on Pay 2018: Get Organised, Fight Back

The elected National Committee of PCS Left Unity has unanimously agreed the following statement to activists in our union, as we head towards the final week of preparations before our national ballot on pay begins. Janice Godrich, the national president of the union and a member of Left Unity, has prepared a video for activists also.

LU statement on pay ballot
We all deserve a pay rise
Build the YES vote, beat the threshold

The Tories systematic attack on workers, the public sector in general and the civil service in particular led this year’s ADC to carry motion A283 which committed the NEC to organise a statutory ballot of members on a programme of industrial action to break the Cabinets Office’s 1% pay cap. This motion was carried overwhelmingly by ADC in a serious debate that reflected the determination of reps to achieve a decent pay rise for members this year.

Although PCS are currently in talks with the Cabinet Office the ballot will go ahead from 18 June until 23 July. This is to strengthen PCSs position during those talks.

It is crucial that members build to ensure that the legal barriers imposed by the Tories anti-union legislation are smashed out of sight. A 51% turnout might seem a big ask but activists should aim for an 80% + turnout.

Left Unity believes that despite the challenge ahead for us the underlying mood is one of optimism and there is a determination that we can win on pay and that a Yes vote is achievable.

We cannot underestimate how important it is to beat the politically motivated and imposed thresholds.
Many PCS members are on benefits to supplement their income while others have second jobs as they have seen their pay cut, in real terms, by thousands of pounds a year as a result of the cap.

It cannot be right that the government are allowed to treat its own staff in this appalling and ruthless manner, particularly on top of cuts to our pensions and compensation scheme. A weak government split down the middle by BREXIT can be challenged.

Between now, the start of the ballot and during the balloting period it is imperative that comrades play a massive role to ensure the message that we can win, gets over to members. We need to beat the thresholds and achieve the result necessary as this will not only strengthen our negotiating position but also send a clear message to the government that our members are angry and more importantly it will also prepare the ground to mobilise members if and when the need for any action is taken.

Wining this ballot is now the top priority for Left Unity. We urge all activists to work hard in their branches, regions and groups to make this all our priority and ensure we turn out the biggest vote possible to send a clear message to the government.

Marion Lloyd, LU National Chair
Gordon Rowntree, National Secretary

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LU-led GEC hard at work against Employee Deal extended opening

As the embargo is now lifted and the news posted on the intranet, most members of the union in DWP will be breathing a sigh of relief as they learn that opening til 8pm is being introduced for around 1,000 staff in DWP, not for all staff, a thought that worries many. Equally important is the news that there are no plans for Saturday opening.

The circular from Group President Fran Heathcote is attached and outlines the progress made by GEC negotiators with DWP.

Group negotiators will work with branches affected by the extension to ensure that the collective agreements is adhered to, to the letter, as the limited “test and learn” extension goes ahead, and will work hard to ensure that the lesson learned by DWP is that opening until 8pm doesn’t work for claimants or for members.

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Democracy Alliance candidates for Vice President speak (video)

National Vice Presidents Fran Heathcote and Zita Holbourne are asking for your vote in the union’s national elections. Watch their videos and vote Democracy Alliance for a fighting, democratic, left-led PCS.

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Re-elect the best campaigners for DWP members: Vote PCS Left Unity!

The Group Executive Committee elections in DWP, the largest group of members within PCS, begin today. It is a crucial task to re-elect a campaigning, socialist leadership in DWP Group.

This is your base for materials for the elections. You can find a main leaflet to hand out to members here. You can download a branch recommendation leaflet here. You can find a personal message from Fran Heathcote, our Group President, here.

Two years ago, our opponents refused to stand for the role of Assistant Secretary because they didn’t want the real work that goes with bargaining on behalf of PCS members with a hostile employer. One year ago, they won an Assistant Secretary post – and for a year they have done absolutely nothing for our members, which is why their incumbent to this post is not running for it again but is instead challenging Fran Heathcote, the incumbent group president and an experienced negotiator, an effective organiser, a socialist and a leader.

Meanwhile, the Left Unity members of the GEC have worked hard to fight for permanent jobs for our Fixed Term Appointments. They have won extensions and have supported branches to develop a campaign to secure jobs for these members.

Meanwhile, the Left Unity GEC have worked hard to make DWP change its Attendance Management Policy, that for years has been a conveyor belt getting rid of staff. The improvements won will save jobs.

Meanwhile, the Left Unity GEC have fought hard to build the national campaign on pay within DWP – to ensure that members are aware that the Employee Deal is not the last word on pay. Over and above the Employee Deal – which was the best pay rise some of our members have ever seen – we will still fight hard for 5% or £1,200 for all members.

Electing a Left Unity GEC is electing the hardest workers and campaigners for our members.

Posted in Elections

A Personal Message from Janice Godrich, PCS National President

Each year, Janice Godrich, the candidate of PCS Left Unity and the Democracy Alliance for National President of the union, writes a personal message to all our members and activists. This is included below. If any LU activist wishes to print this off, a PDF version is available here. Janice and the Left Unity National Committee wish to thank all LU activists for their work in building a strong vote in this year’s elections so far – there’s plenty more to do so if you haven’t been involved in leafleting already, please contact your LU regional convener.

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Support Kenny McKay for NEC – make sure our Commercial Sector is heard!

Kenny McKay is a long-standing member of PCS Left Unity who is running for the NEC this year on the Democracy Alliance slate. A special leaflet has been produced for our Commercial Sector members. Kenny is a well known face in the Commercial Sector due to the many campaigns in which he has fought, and is currently President of the sector. If you have Commercial Sector members in your area, you can download and print this leaflet (go here for PDF) and give it out to them.

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Get your PCS Democracy Alliance posters up!

All comrades who receive Left Unity mailings during the election period should be receiving their PCS Democracy Alliance posters within the next few days. If you want some but haven’t had them, please contact either your local LU convener or a member of the PCS Left Unity National Committee. Let’s make things very visible in the workplace – time to get out the vote to secure the re-election of a fighting, socialist, democratic leadership.

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PCS Elections 2018: Let’s get out the vote for a fighting, democratic union – vote Left Unity

Glasgow PCS reps gather to demand £33 million in pay lost due to the Tory pay cap. Across the country, PCS Left Unity reps have been to the forefront of organising to smash the cap.

All LU comrades across PCS will be in the middle of organisational efforts for the statutory ballot on pay that we are aiming to hold in 2018. Branches can use the elections as a test-run, to drive turnout in the elections, to show decisively that our union is ready to take on the Tories. Left Unity decisively wins elections in PCS when turnout is at its highest, so let’s get out the vote. Some resources are attached to support that.

For standing outside workplaces, we have the National Leaflet 2018 Final.

For any reps who need convincing, discuss with them using our record 2018 leaflet.

Lastly and crucially, make sure your branch – especially if it was passed at the AGM – makes a recommendation on behalf of the branch reps to all members. This is the recommendation 2018 leaflet. It is in PDF format like the others, so it cannot be changed – but if you want to put your branch name at the top you can EITHER email any member of the Left Unity National Committee for a Word Document version OR if you’re a computer whiz, you can take a snapshot of the PDF and paste it into a word document, then paste an image file of your branch banner over the top of it.

Good luck to all socialists standing for Left Unity in PCS in 2018.

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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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