In January 2014, IL warned of the sheer slackness of PCS’s response (https://pcsindependentleft.com/2014/01/26/financial-ruin-of-the-union/). Under the heading “Financial ruin of the union?” we wrote,
“There are wide spread rumours that DWP will announce soon the end of check-off… a short while back, Francis Maude wrote to all departments asking them to review whether they should maintain check-of…Presumably, if DWP end check- off… then other departments will follow suit as well. The rumours also talk of six weeks’ notice being given. If such short notice is given then the effect on union income will be dramatic…the Tories know this and may well believe that they [have] discovered a method of killing off public sector unions without direct confrontation…Unfortunately it would appear that the government has rung the bell for round two. If the union leadership had acted…to contractualise rights then we would not be in this mess; if since last September if had begun to get members to move over to DD then the mess would be lessened. The current leadership is bankrupt of ideas and lacks energy and drive.”
The current leadership denied at that time that there was any financial crisis and stated that the union was in a solvent state and that the NEC’s planning ensured that it would remain in that state for the future.
Now, only a few short months later we find out that apparently is not the case. Having done too little too late the leadership now cancels the elections that might start to turn this union, around from a parlous condition, on the grounds that we should all be working overtime on DD!
We don’t think a membership vote is a distraction from collecting DDs. The reason why the leadership suspended the elections is that they could not be certain of the outcome of those elections. Given that they perceive themselves as vital for the union’s well being they have to remain in charge; in particular they have to remain in charge to ensure that the union is taken over by Unite. A different NEC might take heed of conference policy on Unite. A leadership that stops elections (which would mean being bound by the electorate) is almost by definition a leadership that will not be bound by whatever the conference says.
In contrast we do want to be bound by the will of the membership that is why we say ‘Let members have a vote’.