Tuesday, 1 July 2014

PCS: What was the ballot result?

Yesterday the PCS union announced the result of its' "consultative ballot" on striking over the Pay Freeze with other unions on July 10th. The unions Website tells us:

We have an existing industrial action mandate but our annual delegate conference in Brighton agreed to ask our members to vote 'yes' in a consultative ballot on our national campaign running from 12-30 June.

In the ballot, which closed today, 73.7% of those who took part backed the campaign.

For some reason the full results were not published and despite questions being raised about this the only additional information members were given was added a little later:

The turnout was 24% of those eligible to vote.

Still no full result. Why?

The union has around 243,000 members, but thousands of these were ineligible to be balloted as they are in the commercial sector. So we are left guessing at the turnout and the actual number members voting for industrial action.

The National Executive Committee met today and announced:

Our national executive took the decision today to back joint action with other unions, following an overwhelming 73.7% yes vote of those who voted in a consultative ballot, which ended yesterday, asking members to back our 'We all need a pay rise campaign,' starting with a 1-day strike on 10 July.

We still don't know how "overwhelming" that figure is. Sounds more like spin to most observers.

The PCS Grandees are not alone in obfuscating their unions results. 

The Unite union follows suit by simply stating:

Unite’s members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland voted by 68 per cent to take strike action and by 79 per cent to take industrial action short of a strike after enduring four years of cuts in real terms.

How many voted though?

The GMB however did publish their figures as the BBC website reports:

The GMB said council and school workers voted by three to one to walk out on 10 July over a pay offer worth 1% to most......

There were 26,281 votes in favour of strike action and 9,799 against, on a turnout of 23%.

Hardly an inspiring result which probably explains the reticence of the PCS leadership to tell us the real figures.

The fact that 75% of PCS members didn't vote in this ballot is a clear indication of what happens when the left tries to artificially induce strike action.

Industrial action can only succeed if the support exists on the ground amongst real membership and not just a half baked imposition from left-wing activists.

The lack of transparency from the PCS leadership will lead many to question their continued membership.

A trade union exists to represent it's members not the political activists that run it.

Perhaps our members interests would have better prospects elsewhere.

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