By Lawrence Dunne
PCS Group Vice President, Home Office (personal capacity)
For a long time now, the Home Office has been a willing guinea pig for the medicine which the Government are trying to inject into the wider public sector. Whether it is PDR, check off withdrawal, punishing HR policies or sacking union reps, it’s usually a fairly safe bet that management in the Home Office tried it first.
The department is one of the most hostile in the entire Civil Service and Left Unity activists within the Home Office have been at the forefront of defending members and continuing to build the union in the face of this hostility. Much to the annoyance of the employer, the union won’t go away and Left Unity is committed to making our presence stronger than ever.
Left Unity activists in the Home Office have played a leading role in winning victories for members against the employers will, through a determination to campaign and take action to make the employer listen to our arguments. This includes:
- Winning 1100 extra jobs in Her Majesty’s Passport Office, rolling back and adding to jobs lost by previous Government cuts
- Securing agreements on pay which mean that minimum pay rates are at levels which exceed the real Living Wage
- Successfully arguing for hundreds of Fixed Term Jobs to be converted to permanency
- Signing up the vast majority of members to Direct Debit in just 9 weeks after the Home Office became the first department to withdraw check off.
Despite these important achievements, our job is nowhere near done – in fact it is just beginning.
The department have set out a blue print for cuts in the coming years. As well as the obvious impact on jobs and communities, these cuts will also inevitably lead to increased workloads and bullying within the department. The cuts are not inevitable, but can only be defeated through a mixture of clear demands and strong organisation in every workplace.
Through continuing to put trust in Left Unity candidates, members can be reassured that they will be electing reps who understand that we can’t wait until the employer are prepared to ‘play nice ‘and that we must be prepared to fight at every level for the workplace we want.
Vote for Left Unity in the forthcoming elections as the only way of making sure our union is led by activists committed to fighting on a socialist platform, determined to defend members and the services we provide, by unashamedly opposing the narrative of austerity and always arguing for the alternative.