The PCS National Disputes Committee gave notice to HP on Friday afternoon, 12th April, of suspension of the one day strike set for Monday 15th April and the overtime / on call ban set to start the following day.
The reason given for this is that an offer has been received from HP, the contents of which has not yet been revealed to the branches and that time is required for its consideration before industrial action takes place. Sadly, this position was supported nem con by the GEC.
The GEC, upon the insistence of the FTO, also voted to instruct its members that the details of a first, rejected offer were not to be reported to the members. The FTO, Alan Brown, indicated that HP would not be happy if these details were revealed and might remove the expected second offer from the table. (And there was me thinking that winning a decisive majority in a ballot for industrial action and giving notice to take that action are not things that HP would be happy about. And indeed that the creation of such unhappiness was the whole point of doing those things!)
The GEC has also buckled in the face of HP’s refusal to concede, in the talks at ACAS on Wednesday and Thursday, a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. It accepted the FTO’s advice that PCS national policy should be followed, which he basically described as being acceptance of whatever the employer dictates on job cuts but efforts being made to secure redeployment for the victims thereof.
In view of these fundamental breaches of both the membership’s balloted mandate (see http://www.pcs-hpnw.org.uk/campaigns.html ) and the principle of full report back and accountability of the GEC to the members, which was the basis of my election platform when I stood as Group President in 2012, I have resigned the Presidency.
I will now concentrate on fighting the GEC’s betrayal from the branch and the rank and file.
HP is one of the major government IT contractors, especially with regard to DWP IT systems. At a time when the union’s Civil Service sector is in dispute with the employer as well as the union’s members who work for that major contractor, the scope for co-ordination of action, with potentially enormous advantages to the membership as a whole, is tremendous.
There is supposed to be a PCS DWP-Commercial Sector Liaison Committee. The HP members have not heard a squeak from that Committee during the 4 months of dispute leading to our ballot result.
Both sectors of the union need to be broken from ‘business as usual’ conservatism if these vital battles are to be won.
(HP North West Branch)