PCS

Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

Cleaners at financial analyst Bloomberg planned to strike from 23-25 February in a continuing struggle over pay and conditions.

The cleaners, members of the IWGB union, won the Living Wage in November last year after strikes and occupations. The cleaners also got the Living Wage updated to the newest rate after threatening to strike earlier this month.

Cleaners' pay strikes; more strikes at Information Commissioner's Office; Tube unions begin pay talks with London Underground; National Gallery strikes; Your Choice Barnet strike.

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A response to John McInally and the Socialist Party

Author: 

Charlie McDonald

In a bizarre article published on the Socialist Party website, the vice-president of the civil service union PCS, and leading SP member, John McInally, has attacked the record of Workers’ Liberty within the PCS and the wider labour movement.

In a bizarre article published on the Socialist Party website, the vice-president of the civil service union PCS, and leading SP member, John McInally, has attacked the record of Workers’ Liberty within PCS and the wider labour movement.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

London bus drivers will strike again for 24 hours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 February in their dispute to level-up pay between bus companies.

This follows a 24 hour strike on Thursday 5 February, and one on Tuesday 13 January. Solidarity visited several picket lines which were lively, confident and staffed throughout the day despite propaganda from Transport for London (TfL) claiming high numbers of services were still running.

London bus strikes; National Gallery sacks union rep; ICO workers' pay strike; cleaners picket BAFTA awards; Tube drivers vote to strike.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore and Peggy Carter

Teachers at Merrill Academy, Derbyshire, have been on strike for six days through January in a dispute over unattainable appraisal targets and denial of pay progression.

Both teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, are taking part in the strike and have been staging daily picket lines. However picket lines were suspended on January 29 after drivers, believed to be a non-striking members of staff, drove aggressively at pickets over several days, leading to a striker and a student being hit by a car.

Teachers strike in Derbyshire; pregnant university cleaner sacked; Tube drivers ballot for strikes; M25 workers strike; National Gallery strike; London bus drivers strike for fair pay.

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Hold the Socialist Party and Mark Serwotka to account!

Author: 

James Marine

The Socialist Party (SP) has defended the PCS civil service union’s decision to “suspend” national and Group elections for up to a year. (Groups are the major sub-parts of the union.)

The SP headlined its article: “PCS: Safeguarding its future in the face of vicious Tory attacks”.

“Faced with a temporary but very sharp drop in income as a result of check-off ending, the PCS National Executive Commitee (NEC) has had to make difficult decisions to cut expenditure, including suspending for one year the union’s annual elections”.

The Socialist Party has defended the PCS civil service union’s decision to “suspend” national and Group elections for up to a year.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Peggy Carter, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

On Tuesday the 13 January the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) branch of the PCS union voted by an overwhelming majority to call strikes over pay.

The ICO has been lagging behind civil service pay for some time, with members’ salaries a grade behind what the rest of the civil service receive.

Information Commissioner’s Office staff vote to strike over pay; Woolwich hospital workers continue dispute; Lewisham teachers' ballot against Academies; NUT DGS result; Lambeth College deal; No to outsourcing at National Gallery.

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Stifled Story of the Month

Author: 

Harry Davies

On 20 January, The Guardian reported on academic research showing benefit sanctions push people into destitution, not jobs.

The 1.9 million benefit sanctions that were imposed between June 2011 and March 2014, stopping people from receiving jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and the 43% of those sanctioned subsequently ceasing to try to claim the benefit, did reduce the unemployment figures. No surprise there. Massaging unemployment figures is what every government since the 1980s has done. 

But only 20% of those who went off benefit said they had found work.

The government is applying wildly unfair and fantastic sanctions against millions of people. No one really knows what is happening to the most vulnerable people in society. But can we read about it or hear about it in the general press? Apparently not.

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PCS leadership suspend elections

The following (20 December) article comes from the website of the PCS activist network Independent Left, of which AWL members in the union are part. See the IL website for numerous other articles and updates on the crisis in PCS, and also the new PCS - Democracy Deferred blog. More on the campaign against this attack on trade union democracy soon.

PCS LEADERSHIP ATTACK OUR UNION'S DEMOCRACY!

Activists in the civil service union PCS are organising to oppose a move by their union's leadership to suspend elections for a year. What's going on?

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PCS leadership attacks union democracy

From the website of the PCS Independent Left.


In an unprecedented attack on the democracy of our union the rudderless leadership of PCS has announced the suspension of National and Group elections for possibly up to 12 months.

The NEC decision – by the controlling group which risibly calls itself the Democracy Alliance – was on the basis of:

The leadership of the PCS civil service union, many of them self-proclaimed Marxists, has suspended next year's elections.

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Employers discuss plans to undermine unions

In leaked documents from HMRC (the tax and customs part of the civil service) we see in the open how bosses try to “handle” unions.

In the document a senior manager writes:“...If we are unable to persuade the new GEC (the union body that runs the PCS union in HMRC) and full time officials to change their stance this suggests that the usual rules for engagement with a trade union will not work.”

The paper recommends “aiming to marginalise PCS by maintaining dialogue only to meet statutory minimum requirements.”

Leaked documents show how civil service bosses try to “handle” unions.

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