Welcome to ADC 2016. For the first time in our existence Independent Left has had three comrades elected to the National Executive. We have also had comrades elected to both the the DWP and R&C GECs. This is an astonishing result given the amount of resources available to Left Unity compared to ourselves. We would like to thank everyone that nominated us and voted for us.
This is a sign that more and more activists and members are taking up our theme that the PCS can and should be a much more effective Union. It is a small stepping stone in the gargantuan task of re-building membership confidence and re-building PCS. We ask that you join us in that task.
Notwithstanding the election results we believe the new NEC has to reconnect with, and strengthen the confidence of members and activists; confidence that has taken a real battering over the past years.
We believe that this re-building can be done by being a member driven Union – the main focus of the union is to respond to and represent the voice and interests of the members. The union should be controlled by the grass roots rather than Headquarters. We want decisions on whether ballots should be held on local issues to be decided by the affected branches rather than the National Disputes Committee sitting as arbiters. The national union’s role should be to assist branches rather than oversee them. The position of the union should be to aid all local disputes and to generalise those disputes if possible.
Focusing on a national defence of pay, jobs and living standards has to be the priority. Local areas and departments should not be left on their own to fight. We really are ‘all in it together’ and so we should really all campaign and fight together.
We should be campaigning for Equal Pay across the Civil Service – it shouldn’t depend on where you work as to how much you should earn. An EO in DWP should get as much as an EO in HMRC as an EO in DfT etc.
PCS needs an effective industrial action strategy. This should include selective action alongside national strikes, in place of one day strikes, punctuated by months of nothing, every now and then (launched usually to coincide with NEC elections) that the government simply sits out.
We need to start telling members the truth – even when it means admitting that we have lost. Thoroughly consulting members on demands, strategy and tactics and providing timely and informative reports national talks are essential not only in democratic terms but also in terms of rebuilding the Union.
We have to place equality of treatment for all our members at the centre of our campaigning. That means nationally challenging an enormously expensive Performance Management system characterised by forced and gross inequalities in box mark distribution by age, disability, ethnicity and other categories of staff and ultimately challenging the principle of Performance Related Pay which is based on box markings.
We have to organise the unorganised. Cleaners, security guards, facilities management staff on the civil service and associated estate should be in our union. All workers employed in outsourced areas in our workplaces should be PCS members. The union should organise itself accordingly to achieve these goals.
The current debacle in the DWP concerning weekend and late working (where securing pay increases of a 3 pence an hour and 35 pence an hour more than the minimum wage for AAs and AOs in the national pay area) and getting DWP to say it will obey the law are considered achievements and the non-campaign in HMRC over office closes and job losses shows how far we have fallen as a union. We can and must do better. That’s why we have banded together in the Independent Left. We are passionate to see a change for the better in the PCS. To see what we think please visit our website and attend our meetings at conference. If you like what you see then please join.
Leaflet version here.