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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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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