Sunday, 14 April 2013

An open letter to PCS members

Hi All,

The union is currently in the middle of at best an ill-advised campaign of industrial action which despite the good intentions of the members who have taken part is clearly failing and at worst descending into farce.

In the Home Office in particular, members and reps have been pushed into a corner by the incompetence of the Group failing to deliver the notice of action on time, which has now been compounded by the General Secretary, Mark Serwotka announcing action on TV without consultation forcing reps into a corner. In the HMRC, ill thought out changes wasted members money with an ill-timed walkout not co-ordinated with other members. In the Metropolitan Police (Civilian Services) there has been no action.

Further reports of turnouts have been exaggerated whilst areas of low support, such as the Coastguards where just 4 out of 1,200 members struck have been pointedly ignored. The majority of members have not taken action and more to the point confidence amongst those who did is now in sharp decline.

Last week I circulated a message asking if it was time to end this dispute. One National Executive Committee member, Ian Albert replied with a simple "No!" without any explanation. Given he is one of a couple or so of NEC members that could be considered to have any common sense I find this disappointing.

This dispute was never about us. Despite the issues allegedly been fought over, the real reason for this dispute has always been political. The Socialist Party and their allies remain hell bent on using this union to provoke a "general strike" and with the policy of "standing and supporting candidates in parliamentary elections" more of a political party.

Last week election literature began to arrive on PCS reps desks which, besides giving the "impression" it was official PCS literature through deliberate design, also extolled the virtues of the current union leadership and how much they have achieved on out behalf.

The truth is the "Democracy Alliance" as they like to call themselves have achieved precisely the opposite. Nothing! PCS has gone from being a trade union to being a fringe organisation run by and for the interests of outside forces. The Socialist Party & the SWP.

PCS is not only isolated from the wider trade union movement, it has also ceased being taken seriously by management and more to the point a large swathe of members who whilst still recognising the need for a union have withdrawn from the current action along with general participation in the unions affairs.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue. The need for a strong, representative and rationally led union has never been greater.

Serwotka and his chums have failed.

The time has come not only for the election of trade unionists rather than political activists. People who put your real needs before the political causes of the current lot. Change won't come easy. It will take time, it will take commitment and hopefully some new thinking and greater participation from members and reps who normally keep in the background.

No one has easy answers, but the time has come to learn that "fighting the good fight" cannot be the basis of any rational membership orientated union. Sometimes one has to take a step back.

Serwotka, the Democratic Alliance including Mr Albert will continue to send you over the trenches regardless of the lack of prospect for any victory.

The far left continue to fail, and will always do so.

There is an alternative. There are those of us who seek change who will ask the right questions and gear the union back towards the interests of the very members that the union was set up to represent.

We are called 4themembers and we will do exactly what our name suggests.

Please take a few minutes to visit our website:


Howard Fuller

(Please note: This message was also sent by e-mail to members in PCS)

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