Building trust and confidence is a key task that Independent Left (IL) members of an NEC, if we were to be elected, would insist that the union has to undertake.
The plain truth of it is that the ‘bonfire of terms and conditions’ campaign that the union kicked off over a year ago has come to an end. However, in true PCS fashion the death of this campaign is not announced to members, nor an honest accounting of the failure of that campaign made to them either. Like so many campaigns in the union’s history it just ends in silence (when was the last time you heard the slogan ‘if they don’t talk, we walk’?).
In the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-four George Orwell invented the notion of ‘unperson’. An unperson just disappears from history and the public record, and is no longer referred to again. The corresponding notion in PCS is ‘uncampaign’ where a campaign just disappears and is no longer referred to again. If a campaign has ended or has been overtaken by events (like the check-off crisis that now threatens the union) or has been lost then we have to tell members and activists. To begin to rebuild trust then you have to be honest. The current PCS leadership is not.
If elected we will seek to change that. Instead of honesty the union indulges in spin. Along with this, no real information is given to members or activists about negotiations or campaigns. The culture of spin prevails as opposed to the provision of timely information that enables rank and file members to properly debate and run PCS. Again, as part of building trust we will argue for disclosure to members of talks, or the lack of them, gains and losses. We will give the union a different direction; that is why we hope you will vote for our candidates. To start to rebuild trust and confidence requires a different leadership; we seek to be that.