Wednesday, 24 April 2013

PCS National Elections: Janice’s report card

Guest Post by Willie Samuel

This morning I received a letter from Janice Godrich, National President of PCS, explaining why I should vote for her. It contains a few key claims reproduced on other key Left Unity national election addresses. It is worth examining the claims she makes for her ‘Democracy Alliance’ team. This is the sum total of what they’ve ‘achieved’ for PCS members. Their proud boast of ten achievements over a decade in power.

What is striking is how little they are able to claim to have done. I thought it would be fun to rate each one in turn. As there are ten, I’ve scored each out of ten to give a final score out of 100.

Let’s look at the claims one by one.

‘Negotiated a major national agreement on job protection that prevented thousands of compulsory redundancies.’

The agreement was (by my reckoning) about five years ago and was with the Labour Government. Within a short space of time there were complaints that actually nothing had been achieved. Moreover we are continually told by PCS that the civil service is being slashed because PCS membership is dropping. If all these jobs have really been saved, why is PCS membership down?

Score out of ten? 2
‘Campaigned hard against attacks on pensions and conditions’

Pension contributions have gone up twice in as many years.

Score out of ten? 0

‘Stopped Planned Privatisations’

Which ones? If you can’t name them it’s a 0 out of ten.

‘Stopped removal of paid sick leave’

This one was eight years ago when Gordon Brown (as Chancellor) floated the idea and withdrew it. What part PCS actually played is debatable. But let’s be charitable and give it 5 out of 10.

‘Won millions of pounds in compensation’

Impossible to measure this one, but lets be generous and give it full marks -10

‘Fully supported departmental disputes that have consistently won concessions’

Completely unmeasurable this one! No evidence at all, plenty evidence to the contrary. 3 out of ten.

‘Built a strong democratic, inclusive union.’

Try telling that to any activist who isn’t in Left Unity. Opposition is not encouraged. A generous 5 out of 10 for the sake of balance.

‘Successfully launched a PCS wide credit union’

The leadership were initially defeated (it doesn’t happen often) on their initial proposals at conference and forced to do this. However it happened so 10 out 10

‘Built unity with other unions including a major national cooperation agreement with UNITE, the biggest UK union’

Don’t make me laugh. PCS have appalling relations with other civil service unions, and have been consistently critical of other unions for not following their agenda. Merger with UNITE is only on the cards because of our desperate financial situation.

Only 2 out of ten (for the UNITE bit only).

‘Promoted an alternative to austerity which is supported throughout the union movement and beyond’

This ‘alternative’ is to borrow more and isn’t supported by the majority of unions. It has no credibility at all in the serious political arena.

0 out of ten for this.

A total score of 37%. If it wasn’t for the credit union and the fact that I’ve taken the claims to have won compensation at their word, it would be a derisory 17%.

Seriously, if this is all this lot have to show for nearly a decade in control, is it really worth it?

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