The results for the National Executive Committee elections in PCS were declared earlier this evening and contained a small number of surprises. As expected the far-left Democracy Alliance won the elections and will no doubt be putting a strong spin on their results, but there is a lot for them to worry about. However there is one concern for all members; the abysmal turnout.
PCS is the fifth largest union in the UK with over 250,000 members of whom a mere 23,404 bothered to vote. That's 9.5% and as far as I can recall the lowest ever turnout in PCS elections.
This comes at a time when the union is attempting not just a campaign over pensions, pay and conditions of service but is at the forefront of a (Socialist Party inspired) campaign to initiate a General Strike, so the outcome and lack of participation from the membership is hardly inspiring.
The election saw some modest advances for the more mainstream 4themembers group who ended up with 4 seats and had a couple of near misses (due to departmental limitation rules which prevented two higher polling candidates from being elected). The loss of the sole independent on the NEC (Jake Wilde) following his departure from the 4TM group was sad but unsurprising.
Most candidates (myself included) remained in relatively the same position as last year, though maverick lefty Dave Vincent can reconcile himself with not being in last place which went to a candidate who submitted no photo or election address.
The third group in the elections the Independent Left made no progress whatsoever.
However none of the factions can claim to have won over the members with over 90% abstaining and if democracy is to survive in the union an attempt must be made to involve the membership in the unions internal procedures.
With support for the current dispute in clear decline and very little planned for the future, the newly elected NEC must reconsider its' current course.
There are those that do want make a break with the past and now is the time to get involved.
For more information go to: http://www.4themembers.org.uk/
Or write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Its' your union. Get involved and make it work for you, not the political activists!