Around 80 delegates and observers from across the UK attended the 2013 PCS Left Unity National Conference in Manchester on Saturday 7th December. The Conference is where LU policy is debated and voted on by delegates from every region which goes on to instructs LU National officers and NEC members and as well as form our positions for the 2014 Annual Delegate Conference (ADC).
The Conference heard reports from the Left Unity National Committee on the work of the last year and a forward look to 2014, as well as a LU NEC report. The role LU plays is much more than an electoral machine, with LU candidates consistently arguing for socialist principles inside and outside the union in order to make gains for PCS members. Questions and comments were taken from the floor to the LUNC on NEC decisions and LU organisation.
Following some debate over conference motions, Conference then opened with the first debate on the National Campaign. 36 motions were passed in total from an agenda of 42, with debate covering Pay, Performance management, Privatisation, Scottish Independence, Welfare and tax justice, Grangemouth, Climate Jobs and Syria. Although comrades views differed in some areas, the discussion was always fraternal.
The Conference very warmly greeted Ricky Tomlinson, speaking on behalf of the Shrewsbury 24 Campaign to report of the corruption and abuse involved in unfairly imprisoning striking workers in the building industry. LU gave full support and solidarity to this campaign, proudly hearing that our LU elected General Secretary Mark Serwotka will be one of six petitioners who will attend parliament to demand the papers are released and the case re-examined.
The LU candidate and incumbent Assistant General Secretary Chris Baugh also addressed the LU Conference discussing the context of the struggle PCS members face and the importance of Left Unity in building the confidence and consciousness of members in the next steps of the campaign.
Model motions for ADC will be issued with slates for national elections in the coming weeks.
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