You may have noticed that the national union has spluttered into life. We now have a petition over the reporting system (Performance Management Reports – PMRs); one over the compensation scheme and the union has published an article on pay. Like buses, you wait for ages for the national union to do something (in this case well over a year) and all of sudden campaigns turn up one after the other.
Now in past years it was noticeable that in the run up to an election the union would be balloting or saying that it would ballot.
Last year, there were no elections (Mark Serwotka and the Socialist Party – who assure us that ‘democracy is in their DNA’ – called off the elections as in essence democracy was then deemed to be too expensive) and the national union did – nothing.
So are we cynical that the recent actions by the union are just a response to the elections?
Whilst we have no doubt that these actions will be used by the Democracy Alliance (that rotten block between Left Unity – in reality the Socialist Party – and what remains of the right wing Democrats) as proof of ‘see, we are doing something’, the actions over the compensation scheme, PMRs etc are necessary and indeed in the case of the reporting system and pay, long overdue.
No, our predominant feeling is not one of cynicism but one of scepticism. Our worry is that like many of the previous campaigns that the union will not be effective. The current leadership has shown over the decade plus that it has been in power that it is ineffective; talks a fight, sometimes has a fight but does so badly. We want a more effective union, a one that wants to win and plans accordingly. That is why we are standing in the NEC election and we hope that if you want a change of direction that you will vote for us.