Guest Post by Jennifer Okundaye
(Editors Note: This message was issued to reps in the Home Office following a failed attempt at holding an all-inclusive te-kit conference yesterday. The author is a leading activist in the Civil Service union PCS)
If there was ever a definition for a farce this dispute most surely ranks highly on the list.
Firstly we mess members about through utter incompetency at the inability to serve notice to the employer appropriately and in time, expect members to fully align with a half baked strategy that removes the most significant part of the Home Office Group (Border Force), compete for headlines in a week where the whole focus is on the death of Margaret Thatcher. Then stage manage an officers meeting that was at best dictatorial, and then we can’t even successfully organise a tele-conference call of reps that are meant to promote, organise and actively lead the action.
It is clear that there is a total disregard for members and activists unless you are prepared to be a puppet. This is not the way to run an industrial dispute. I dare say that rather than management in the Home Office being the laughing stock, all I can see is members incensed at the lack of credibility from the PCS executives.
It is now openly acknowledged in management circles that PCS are incapable of reacting decisively and rationally to any credible challenge posed. We should have called management’s bluff and stuck to the 5th of April when everyone else was out, or at best, organised better for the 8th and ensure we delivered the notice in time rather than “blame the courier”.
Now we are faced with the prospect of having members cross picket lines when other members are on strike. What a debacle, thinly disguised as "innovative" and "what members have been crying out for".