So claimed the NEC speaker when commenting on the (mild) motion that asked the union to negotiate with the GMB to bring full time officer’s wages ‘much closer’ to those of the members.
Of course the NEC speaker asked the conference to vote this motion down (which delegates did). Yet the Socialist Party (SP), who politically dominate the NEC have an official position in favour of full time officers being on a worker’s wage. So why the difference between SP’s politically position and its practice in PCS?
Firstly we have to note that for many years the SP in PCS has been politically semi-detached from the wider SP; positions genuinely held by comrades in Unison are not held by the leaders of the SP in the PCS.
Moreover, as one of the leaders of the SP so memorably told one of our comrades, ‘we have a big union to run’; that is, the practical people in charge of our large union have no time for slogans; they have to run ‘things’.
Lastly, and very importantly, many SP comrades are full time officials themselves and so moving them towards a worker’s wage means cutting their wages; therefore their material well being is threatened by the dangerous motion that seeks to align their wages with ours. A truly radical union, which the SP claim the PCS is, would move FTO salaries towards that of the workers as well as opening all FTO posts to election. A union that talks ‘radical’ but is in reality just another TUC affiliated ‘ordinary’ union would not.
We are for a radical union, the SP is not.