Don’t let the Lib Dems off the hook

There is a real chance that check-off could soon be ended in the DWP and other departments. We are expecting announcements on this shortly. Whilst the end-of-check-off is a Tory initiative (pushed in particular by Eric Pickles) it has to be signed off by the Lib Dems as well.

At the time that Eric Pickles tried to end check-off in CLG and was humiliatingly defeated in the resultant court case, Lib Dem sources told the union that they had stopped a civil service wide attack on check off. Well that attack has arrived, albeit that it is being left down to departments to individually decide whether to end the deduction of union subs from salary.

The union must put pressure on the Lib Dems to stop this attack. If each Lib Dem Minister in each department refused to end check- off then departments would keep it in place. If Nick Clegg opposed it, then the attack would collapse. So PCS, allied with the other public sector unions (Eric Pickles has said that he wants to end check-off in the entire public sector; we just happen to be first in line), must contact the Lib Dems and put them on the spot. We have no illusion concerning them (they have agreed to all the cuts in funding and staffing in the civil service) but they maybe ‘pushable’ on this matter. We have to try in any case.

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