In the 2017 indicative pay ballot, 48% of PCS members voted and of those, 98.9% believed the pay cap should be scrapped and 79.2% indicated a willingness to take part in industrial action.
Therefore the union has a clear mandate for a pay strike. That said we soberly note that whilst this vote took place in a much changed and more favourable political environment and even using voting methods not allowed under strike ballot law, we still got less than a 50% turnout.
The IL is therefore arguing that PCS:
- Needs to carefully prepare the industrial action pay ballot and avoid calling a ballot with little notice.
- Identify and target areas where inexperienced or unconfident or too few representatives means that the Union’s campaign messages will not reach members.
- Provide plentiful, varied and creative campaign material and to do so in good time well before, as well as during the legal ballot.
- Ensure that an expertly prepared social media campaign is put in place and starts well before the ballot begins.
- Ensure that membership meetings take place and that members’ voices are heard well before a ballot notice is issued.
- Publish pay data showing members the great difference in pay between staff working in the same grade across the civil service. Equal pay has to be a key demand in any pay campaign.
- Develop and explain a meaningful and convincing independent PCS industrial action strategy to members.
- Be clear to members and employer that action will not stayed for the mere offer of talks.
- Work and campaign with, and strike alongside, other Unions wherever and whenever possible. This should not be in such a manner that the interests of PCS members and the success of our campaign becomes dependent on the leaderships of other unions, so that our campaign can be collapsed by them at any time.
- Ensure that all talks and negotiations, including all correspondence with the employer, are reported in a timely manner to members.
- Boost the Fighting Fund urgently and massively.
- Ensure that rank and file activist committees are set up everywhere, meet at times that activists without large amounts of facility time can actually make, and develop accountability to the activists and branches, calling national meetings throughout the dispute.
- Work with activists, wider society campaign groups, other unions and the Labour Party to develop a vigorous political campaign.