Last Saturday PCS Independent Left held its 2014 AGM in London to discuss priorities and plan for the year ahead.
The meeting this year represents a real step forward for the organisation. In attendance were representatives of the Your Voice group who are organising a new left in the PCS HMRC Group. The meeting agreed to build a working relationship with Your Voice and some of their comrades have already decided to also join IL as individual members.
IL is building a presence across the union with comrades in the DWP, HMRC, HSE, Defra, MOJ, DCLG and the Home Office.
What brought everybody to the meeting was a desire to change PCS for the better. Our programme speaks for itself and we have consistently argued for it at every level of the union for years. Our supporters are not simply in the business of criticising the leadership from the sidelines though. We play an active role in building the union and delivering for members. But we think our union could be better and the current leadership, in power for 12 years, must take responsibility for the parlous state of PCS. And they must be challenged electorally.
We have agreed slates for the election at DWP Group level and for the NEC. These will be published here shortly. There was debate in putting the strongest possible slates for the elections. We want to know that even were to we to take one seat that our supporters will make judgements of the basis of solid class politics. It was an IL supporter, John Moloney, who when on the NEC during the 2004/5 pensions dispute, was the only NEC member to vote down a deal that has proved catastrophic for PCS members, financially as well as industrially.
The meeting backed a motion to support John Pearson in his efforts to obtain reinstatement to membership and reimburse his legal fees, following his ET win. The NEC’s failure to back victimised PCS rep and admit its mistake in having refused to do so is a stain on the union. It reflects the deep malaise in the union’s bureaucracy.
The meeting also welcomed guest speaker, Gona Saed, a Kurdish Womens Rights activist, who explained the importance of solidarity from people all over the world for the Kurds of the Middle East who are at the centre of a struggle against rival regional powers and the barbarism of ‘Islamic State’. The Kurdish movement is secular and women are playing a leading roles. The intervention from the countries of the West like Britain have been met confused response from many on the left in Britain. The meeting agreed to raise this issue within PCS.
Motions on the following were debated and passed, or remitted to the Steering Committee for further work. We will publish these in the coming days.
-Working with Your Voice
– John Pearson Campaign
– Maximum Pay
– Full Time Office pay
– Crisis welfare support
– Civil Service Fast stream