Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Some uncomfortable truths for Mark Serwotka

The "breaking news" about the goings on in the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) as a result of interference by PCS General Secretary raises a number of questions about how the union is run. The one thing that stands out for me is the decision to prevent the members of SOCA voting on the deal reached by their Group Executive Committee. Surely if Serwotka thought he was on "solid ground" with his objections a ballot would have been a way of testing members opinions.

It is likely that members in SOCA (given that there is little or no chance of reversing the Government's decision to subsume them in the Police Force) would have welcomed what seems by all accounts a good deal in the circumstances. For someone like Serwotka to deny them the right to vote on their own futures belies his claim that PCS is a "members led union" as his cronies claim.
No wonder there have been resignations from PCS.

However this is far from being the only area where the leadership have directly failed members as I was reminded on Friday  a PCS Rep in the now privatised (or mutualised if you prefer) My Civil Service Pensions.

It's' actually worth reading a statement issued by PCS on May 1st 2013:-

When the Cabinet Office imposed the first mutual in the civil service on staff at My Civil Service Pension - the body that administers the pensions of 1.5 million serving and retired civil servants – it was so unpopular it led to industrial action.

One of the first decisions, entirely against the will of staff, was to strip workers of their civil service status under the new arrangement and, therefore, access to the civil service pensions they administer.

Last year the respected Civil Service World newspaper published a survey that showed only 16% of civil servants were even “interested in exploring the idea” of becoming a mutual.

In a survey of all MyCSP staff conducted by the union in 2011, 94% of respondents said they did not agree with Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude's claim that it would “empower employees”.
Mr Maude is on record as saying he would be happy for mutuals to be fully sold off to the private sector in future.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "There is nothing mutual, co-operative or employee-led about what Francis Maude is trying to do.

“The first mutual in the civil service was imposed by Maude’s government against a backdrop of strikes by the staff who wanted to remain as civil servants.

Willie Samuel (PCS MyCSP) copied  Mark Serwotka into the message below:

What kind of fantasy world do these people live in?

A 'background of strikes'? PCS was nowhere when MyCSP was mutualised and did nothing. Yeah, we had a half day strike on Friday afternoon far too late after the event. Even the all member circulars issued by PCS more recently have had to admit that.  I can quote over a dozen members who wrote to Mr Serwotka at the time and to this day still await a response. We only knew PCS had imposed an overtime ban when management told us!

Membership has dropped to below 40% due to the unions neglect, failure to advise and general incompetence.

Again Mark Serwotka shows how out of touch he has become with the real needs of PCS members. During the period in question he was spending far too much time on his extra-curricular activities.
Now despite all the evidence showing the current dispute is achieving nothing Serwotka has written to Reps stating the following:

All members involved in the dispute will take one day of strike action between now and 20 June.
As well as being highly effective, we know that the employer particularly dislikes short-term, disruptive action.

Let's ensure that we remember this year as the one when we forced the government to negotiate and stopped these attacks on our pay, pensions, facility time and hard-won terms and conditions.

Well I would join Willie Samuel in wondering what fantasy world they do live in indeed.
Members are clearly not behind this failing dispute despite what the charlatans of the far-left National Executive Committee tell us. Turnout has been abysmal, in some Departments virtually non-existent. This is not a strategy for "victory" as Serwotka would have us believe.

The Pensions dispute ended some time ago and as for Pay, we are as my own (far-left) Group Executive Committee admitted when they put in a claim for 5% or £1,200 (whichever is the greater (members are still laughing at the naivety of that):

As these talks are constrained by the centrally imposed pay cap they cannot be considered to be genuine pay negotiations

In other words its' 1% guys. That’s it.

The credibility of PCS as a union has never been lower than it is now. How much longer local reps can "hold the line" with Serwotkas politically self-interested agenda wrecking any prospects of improving our lot remains to be seen.

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