The coming period will be a vital one for the PCS as sometime in the next few weeks the General Election will be called.
My union now has a clear position on what we will say during that. The NEC [National Executive] has decided that in England and Wales we will be calling for a vote for the Labour Party.
In Scotland we will emphasise the union’s position on supporting for a Corbyn-led Westminster government whilst recognising the particular political situation there, and so will urge members to vote to “Get the Tories out”.
In Northern Ireland the Union will adopt a “make your vote count” style campaign.
In addition to the call for a Labour vote, the NEC also agreed to select target seats in which we would seek to mobilise reps and members in an active campaign for the Labour candidate.
We will be looking at marginal seats where given our membership numbers and resources we can make a difference in who wins.
Given that the union has been traditionally politically neutral (though that has been changing over time), we will have to carefully explain to members why we are throwing our weight behind Labour; why we think it is vitally important for there to be a Labour government and the dangers of a Conservative government.
Before the general election there is the possibility that the current Prime Minister will refuse to comply with the “anti hard Brexit” law. PCS is clear that civil servants should obey this law. Therefore shortly we might be pitched into another constitutional crisis around who does the civil service obey — Parliament or the Prime Minister?
Of course whilst hoping and fighting for a Labour government, we must prepare for the worse.
Therefore the work around union organising must continue at a pace, and around supporting disputes.