National Pay; not

As we said in a previous posting, the national union has spluttered into life. One of the signs that the union has a pulse is an article on the PCS website called ‘Pushing for progress on pay’. Now of course one article is not a pay campaign and that is the main problem with the article. The only real action announced is that the NEC is going to table a motion on pay to this year’s national conference.

The Independent Left doesn’t want another motion but wants to see some effective action over pay. Just as importantly it wants, unlike the NEC, action over getting to national pay rather than keeping the current pay arrangements; so-called delegated bargaining which institutionalises unequal pay between departments.

Nowhere in the article is the demand made for equal pay for equal work across the civil service, nor is there the demand for national pay bargaining. Instead we are told in the article that ‘in 2013 and 2014, we submitted pay claims to the employer seeking to secure a decent pay rise for members, a return to national bargaining’. We cannot recall seeing the demand for national pay in those claims; claims in any case which were not distributed to members and certainly were not campaigned for by the national union.

Indeed we are told that for this year ‘we have also issued detailed guidance to negotiators on our approach to pay talks for 2016 which outlines with importance of continuing to press for more equal and coherent pay systems’. As you see the article is arguing for more equal pay, not for equal pay for all. It is also wants ‘coherent pay systems’ – note systems in the plural. We in contrast are only asking for one pay system, a national pay system; we don’t want pay systems.

In the motion to conference the NEC is not going to ask for national pay either.

In contrast to the present leadership, which despite being in charge of the national union for more than 10 years has not won a single extra penny on pay for members, we do want national pay. We say that if you are an AO or EO (for example) then your rate of pay should be the same across the country regardless of whether you work in DWP or HMRC etc.

We actually want equal pay for all, not just ‘more’ equal pay.

The attitude to pay is one of the key things that differentiates us from Left Unity and the Socialist Party. A vote for them is a vote for pay systems not one pay system. If you want national pay then we are the only people arguing for it and therefore you should considering voting for us in the NEC elections. A vote for Left Unity is a vote for the pay status quo.

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