A constant IL theme is that full time offices are paid too much. We have repeatedly pointed out that Mark Serwotka and Chris Baugh earn many times more than mass of members. Indeed, unless we have a few, very senior civil servants who have stayed in the union, then they earn more than any of the members! Of course they set the example for the rest of the full time officers; all of whom earn much more than the majority of members that they represent (or lord over, in certain cases).
Possibly cruelly, but nevertheless accurately, we have pointed out that whilst many members face a cost of living crisis, PCS has at least solved that crisis for Mark and Chris.
We have also pointed out that PCS has maintained pay structures that were built up at a time when PCS was, in an ill judged boast, the fastest growing union in Britain.
Also we have reminded members that the Socialist Party (SP), who dominate Left Unity and the leadership of the PCS have a formal policy that full time officials (FTOs) should be on a worker’s wage. Of course in PCS they have abandoned that policy; indeed the SP actively argues against conference motions that would move the union towards paying FTOs a wage closer to that of members. Like Christians who go to church on Sunday and devoutly pray, but for the rest of the week ignore all the teachings of the bible, the SP in the union devotedly read (no doubt) their paper but for the rest of week ignore the worker’s wage policy (which is a fundamental position of the SP).
Of course, if the union had cheaper administration i.e. FTOs were on a worker’s wage, then we would be much more able to weather any financial storm caused by the end of check-off. Whilst the Tories are to blame for that storm (it is part of an attack on all public sector unions) nevertheless the PCS have built a rickety, albeit expensive house for the winds to batter.
The IL therefore repeats its call that FTOs wages should be brought into line with those of the members. Maybe the check-off crisis (one of course we hope will not happen) might remind the SP of their fundamental position of the worker’s wage. But it shouldn’t take a crisis to remind comrades of their politics.