Wednesday, 21 May 2014

PCS Conference: NEC lose vote on merger motion but confusion reigns

The future of the main civil service union came under scrutiny this morning as the Socialist Party leadership made their bid to get conference to agree that Unite should take over PCS. You'd be hard pressed to find the report of the debate buried on the PCS website but it did appear under the title Passionate debate about our future. We are informed:

Our president Janice Godrich proposed the motion on behalf of the national executive. She said it was the "most important issue this union has faced," as we seek to"stem the tide of the cuts" and "organise in a radical way across the public sector".

However the debate did not go the way the Grandees intended despite more speakers for the motion than against. Even the intervention of John McInally's gopher in the West Country, Richard Capps did not sway the assembled delegates as he raged:

Do we really think Mark, Janice and the rest will sell out the soul of the union? Absolutely no chance.

Actually they sold the "soul" of PCS to the Socialist Party a long time ago, but even so the urge to shout yes must have been at forefront of many delegates as even branches normally loyal to the leadership from their stronghold in the DWP Group ended up voting against.

The vote was overwhelmingly defeated on a show of hands but the Chair insisted on a "card vote" which delayed conference by 30 minutes to no avail as the leadership still lost the vote:

Votes for 73212; against 109326.

The Face Book Group No to PCS-Unite merger commented:

Today, the motion calling for the merger talks to be called off fell. But the NEC also got a bloody nose as their motion calling for talks with no preconditions did too. With more restrictions on what kind of merger they can agree to, it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Therein lies the problem. A motion did get passed which authorised talks for a merger but only if certain pre-conditions are met.

So its far from over. The card vote will allow the leadership to identify the opposition (as these votes are recorded on a branch by branch basis) allowing the PCS Grandees to see where they need to make an effort in pursuit of the demise of PCS.

What Len McCluskey will make of this is not known, but the inability of of new found friends to deliver will probably not impress.  

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to hear that McInally's lackey Richard Capps from my old branch spoke in favour of the UNITE takeover. I wonder who he was speaking for since no one in my office knew anything about a) a branch AGM or b) a mandating meeting.
    I am sure that if Mr McInally was aware that scores of his Bristol members had been disenfranchised from the electoral process he'd have leant on Ms Godrich to declare the AGM null and void!