Monday, 28 April 2014

PCS Conference: going through the motions

Returning to work after a relaxing Easter break I was "delighted" to find copies of the PCS Conference Agenda sitting on my desk. Undaunted I sat down and read through (OK skimmed in parts, there's pages of the stuff) and thought I'd share a few thoughts.

The obvious "highlight" of Conference will be the debate on the proposed merger takeover of the union by Unite which will take place on the Wednesday morning. The whole question of the merger has already been covered in depth on this blog (see sidebar) and there will be more to come, but it is very noticeable that there is no mention of the crisis that has led to the need to end PCS's independent existence.

In fact the whole takeover merger is presented in reverential terms as a means to:

..create a new, powerful force for fighting back trade unionism in the public sector capable of shifting the current passive approach of the other unions which led to the squandering of the momentum generated by the joint union action over pensions... in 2011.

Yeah right. The fact that PCS has a £65 Million deficit in its pensions scheme has absolutely nothing to do with it. Hopefully the growing number of oppositionists which now includes many on the "left" of the union will quiz the NEC about this and other related issues. We'll have to wait & see.

There will be another bloody conference to discuss the "terms" offered by unite later in the year and:

..take decisions on whether to proceed to a membership ballot.


Members wait with baited breath.

The other two motions that stuck out were A49 from the Met Police in East London and A54 from DWP Somerset. These relate to organising members in age groups.

PCS has what it calls the Young Members Network (cynics call the Socialist Party Youth) which you can be in until you are some 27 years old. Trouble is the "younglings" are growing up getting older, the membership is getting older, especially with no recruitment on any kind of scale and it seems some of them are determined to hang on to their positions.

The young bureaucrats want to raise the age limit to 30 because: they take on additional workloads as branch and Group Executive Committee members, are struggling to be able to be able to allocate time to build the network and require additional support.

Not sure how raising the age limit helps. Perhaps they could consider relinquishing their posts to err...other, young members and move on.

Just a thought........

More amusingly Somerset looks in the other direction. They write that with changes to retirement age:

...the number of members in this higher age group will be on the increase, and that such members are likely to have age-related conditions and particular needs and circumstances as a result...

They then call for a "Senior Members" section organised along the lines of the young members.

Where do I sign up!

Campaign for the right to have an afternoon nap now!

Meanwhile if PCS still exists next year expect a call for those aged between 31 and 49 demanding a "Middle aged" section.

Which remains a big if at the moment.

1 comment:

  1. The trouble is the Unite/PCS Merger would never be a true merger of equals. Would the Name of Unite be changed I think not! Would PCS give up its name its very identity oh yes it seems. This to me looks and smells like a bad takeover like my left over curry I had the other night.

    its more important than ever to vote for NEC/GEC candidates who are against the Takeover because thats what it would be. Unite could then smile at Unison and say were still bigger than you or something to that effect.

    I don't buy into this takeover and want no part of being part of Unite.