Pay – mapping out a new way

In an earlier posting we promised to set out what the Independent Left would do if we ran the pay campaign.

Firstly as explained, we would change the pay demand to one of equal pay, with an extra increase for those on top pay in the civil service. To read more on this please go here.

Unlike the current leadership, we would run a national campaign and not delegate it to the Groups and national branches.

Whilst pay work in the Groups and national branches is very important, they should be working towards national goals, with national help, not left on their own to campaign.

We would also make it clear to the members and activists that we are looking to industrial action. Only action, long hard action at that, can hope to win more than 1%. Further that whilst we would do our level best to win other unions over to a fight, if necessary we would fight on our own. The recent past has shown that the current leaderships of UNISON etc cannot be trusted.

Of course we say this knowing that at this time, we could not win such a vote on strike action. Whilst the objective conditions exist for a pay fight (low pay coupled with high inflation), members and most activists are not confident that the union can fight and win.

We don’t blame them for feeling this way. The union has fought and lost a number of national campaigns in the last years.  There is no reason to believe that the current leadership would do any better this time; it is certainly clear that they are tired, lack confidence themselves and have not learnt the lessons of the past. That is why we are standing in the NEC elections. We are not claiming that if we win that suddenly the situation will be transformed. We would still face the mess that PCS is, the mess caused in part by the current leadership.

What our victory would mean though is that tactically and strategically we could start the necessary changes that the union so desperately needs. To stop a ship sinking, you first have to recognise that the water is rising.

The key thing needed is to try and build the confidence of members; a confidence built and won branch by branch. The whole mass of the national union would be thrown into this task. Coupled with better demands (equal pay), clear aims (strike action) and ceaseless propaganda and agitation (unlike the current leadership we are not satisfied that the union produces a few leaflets and then does nothing) this maybe possible.

We are clear that a proper campaign cannot be just willed from the top, regardless of the resources that might be thrown in. Activists and members have to shape and run the campaign. This is more than a few reps attending regional forums; it is reps meeting and deciding things, for the national union to react to what is being said by these reps and this interaction to be continual. In other words we want a democratically run campaign.

Of course all the above is in outline; there would have to tremendous planning and enormous work put in. The union would have to continually test its campaign against reality (are we really winning members over) and change as necessary. Now there is no guarantee that we will succeed. But the above is better than what is being planned by the current leadership.

Vote IL in the NEC elections; let’s change the union:

Our NEC slate is:

President       

Bev Laidlaw (DWP)

Vice Presidents

Tom Bishell (DWP)

Bryan Carlsen (HSE)

Phil Dickens (HMRC)

John Moloney (DfT)

NEC

Tom Bishell (DWP)

Bryan Carlsen (HSE)

Ralph Corrigan (PsG)

Phil Dickens (HMRC)

Chris Hickey (CLG)

Karen Johnson (CLG)

Bev Laidlaw (DWP)

Chris Marks (DWP)

Charlie McDonald (DWP)

John Moloney (DfT)

Oli Rahman (DWP)

Paulette Romain (CLG)

Leon Searle (DWP)

George Thompson (DWP)

Ray Webb (DSA)

Gilaine Young (DfT)

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