Group elections are now open – and the fight begins to re-elect fighting democratic group leaderships of PCS. Sarah Spencer, young member, Dundee Pensions branch secretary, and candidate for DWP GEC explains why this means voting Left Unity in group elections and the Democracy Alliance for the NEC.
In order to ensure the future of the union, the recruitment and organising of young members is a key priority, as is training them to become the next layer of activists. It was PCS Left Unity, in concert with the PCS Democrats, under the umbrella of the Democracy Alliance that first set up the Young Members Network, to be run by and for young members. Since then, our young activists have been critical to sustaining the activist culture of the union.
Whether it’s on national marches fighting austerity, such as those called by the TUC “Britain Needs a Pay Rise” campaign, or running seminars on bullying, mental health and workplace issues, young members have been at the forefront of the fightback against the government’s attack on working class people.
Under my predecessor as Young Members Network chair, our young members fought to improve working conditions in contact centres, and the YMN have just re-launched the Contact Centre Charter, to help us continue that fight. Right now we are fighting for better apprenticeships and looking towards organising the mass of un-organised young workers. We have worked with campaigns such as Youth Fight for Jobs and the Bakers’ Union “Fast Food Rights” campaign, participating in solidarity protests outside McDonald’s, who are a terrible and anti-union employer, to demand a £10 minimum wage.
Left Unity is the socialist faction in PCS. We believe passionately that this campaigning approach is the only way to defeat employers and a government that are determined to see workers pay to clean up their economic mess, so they can hang on to the vast wealth they make from our work. The only way we’re going to get a better deal is if we organise and fight for it. We want young members to lead this fight, and we support them at every level of the union. It is as a result of this support that our young members proposed through Youth TUC’s the demand for a £10 minimum wage, which has been adopted.
In DWP, as a result of our on-going campaigns, the employer has offered thousands of permanent jobs to AO and EO Fixed Term Appointments, including many apprentices. We have highlighted the continuing discrimination faced by young people as a result of the hated performance management regime. I am standing for DWP GEC as a Left Unity candidate to continue this fight.
So if you want a fighting, democratic union that stands up for young people, vote for Left Unity in the elections, but even more importantly, join today, get involved and help us build a future for young people.