Increasingly it is looking likely that there will be a strike on the 10 July. Union after union, on not the greatest turnouts it must be admitted, is reporting that members are voting for industrial action. There is nothing to suggest that PCS will be any different, though we hope that given the various ways (phone, internet, paper) to vote that our turnout will be better than other unions.
A ‘Yes’ vote will testimony to the hard work of activists, who from a standing start, have motivated members to give a positive result. So we have a strike and then what?
Well we read that ‘Alongside any co-ordinated strikes, the union will also plan a campaign of sustained targeted industrial action in the civil service and is calling on ministers and senior officials to hold genuine negotiations’.We have not heard of any plans as yet for sustained targeted industrial action.
Now we know that in the past the PCS leadership has tended to see group actions as a continuation of the national action. HMRC have in the last days taken action and everybody is expecting that DWP will take action over attendance management and other matters as well as pay. Whilst this is a good thing, the strikes in the HMRC and (hopefully) in the DWP, and indeed elsewhere, will have happened in any case regardless of the national situation. Therefore to say that they are aid of the national action and campaign would be incorrect.
We know that the PCS leadership uses the phrase ‘targeted action’ as meaning ‘selective action’. To be serious about such action then you need a levy. Well as you all know we don’t have one of them though it is promised; after changing over members to Direct Debit (DD). Moving over to DD will take months so presumably the levy will be put off for months. Of course you need an income stream from the levy before moving to selective action so that implies even further delay. Now we have suggested that the DD and levy should be combined; please see here.
Therefore all the signs are that unlike the hopes in the First World War that it would be all over by Christmas, the levy collection will not. So as far as we can see there is no plan for post 10 July. That is not good enough. If you are going to start a fight then you should have some clue as to how you are going to fight it. PCS does not.