A marked characteristic of the current PCS leadership is its stop-start attitude to issues. This has been shown time and time again in industrial action campaigns where action is switched on and off.
Yet you would have hoped that facing a financial life or death situation that the union would act in a consistent and vigorous manner; unfortunately not.
With the attack on check off in CLG the union was given a foretaste of what was in store for the rest of us. At the time of the legal case in GLG the leadership seem to be preparing for a campaign to get all members across the union to go over to Direct Debit (DD). That died a death after our victory. Instead of using the down time whilst the Tories recovered from their shock in losing, the union did nothing.
It was no surprise that the Tories came back, demanding that all departments review their check off arrangements with Francis Maude pushing for these to be ended.
In DWP there was a flurry of activity in getting people on to DD but since then the campaign has gone quiet again. Even though the Union believes itself that check off will end in the DWP it is not signing people up in the here and now. Instead it seems to be waiting for the announcement before taking action.
The Tories want an end of check off so as to financially ruin the union. From the time the threat to check off in CLG was first raised, the national union should have been trying with all its might to get all of us onto DD so as to make the union financially independent of the state and to shield its income from Tory attacks. It didn’t but it should start now though.
We suppose that the PCS leadership is frightened that if starts the DD campaign then this might precipitate the end of check off. We don’t think so. In any case it is better to get our retaliation in first rather than wait for their attack. Start the DD campaign now!