The coming election for Deputy General Secretary of the civil service union PCS will be a choice between the old centre-right of the union and a candidate, AWL member John Moloney, backed by the Independent Left.
The PCS union “machine”, though on paper left wing — dominated by the Socialist Party — will be backing the centre-right candidate, Hugh Lanning.
Lanning was the right-wing candidate defeated by left-winger Mark Serwotka in PCS's 2000 general election campaign. Since then he has got the deputy general secretary job — he is running for re-election — and worked closely with the union machine. The SP-led Left Unity faction have formed a long-term coalition — the “Democracy Alliance” — with the old centre-right, the “PCS Democrats”.
The Democracy Alliance claims an uninterrupted series of triumphs for PCS. John Moloney argues differently.
An Independent Left leaflet backing John Moloney points out:
“2008 saw a national leadership pulling out of the national pay campaign as fast as it could while below-inflation pay settlements were still being imposed across the civil service. It really is time for a change...
“The national leadership of PCS sees a national pay agreement where Treasury see below RPI pay awards, the continuation of low and performance related pay, and 200 civil service bargaining units....
“The so-called national pay agreement did not put one penny in the pocket of a single member in 2008, and the national leadership has not gained one material pay benefit in all their years of running the union. The real meaning of the 'national pay agreement' is the leadership’s abandonment of the fight for decent pay, cost-of-living awards, and national pay. It has passed the pay burden back to the members isolated in their individual bargaining units...”
In 2005 John Moloney was the only member of the PCS National Executive to vote against the deal which cut pension provision for all future civil service workers in return for an alleged guarantee to keep it for existing workers.
Now, the Independent Left leaflet points out: “It seems clear that after the next general election there will be an attack on our pensions. Obviously PCS does not have the “pensions guarantee” claimed for it by the Executive. As DGS John Moloney will agitate for a campaign to defend public sector pensions — not wait until the attack is upon us”.
John Moloney promises that if elected he will not accept more than £25,000 a year (Lanning is on £60,000) and will hand back the rest of the DGS salary to the union. He will tie any salary increases to the average increase received by lower pay grades in London.