PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka was invited to speak at a meeting of reps from across the North West earlier this month. In a forthright report PCS Bootle Taxes Branch tell us that:
By May PCS needs to make a saving of £332,000. The Union was not in debt this time last year, but successive departments withdrawing check off has put us in this situation.
That statement is blatantly untrue. Reps and members discovered there was a £7.5 Million pensions deficit on the unions book early last year.
Mark said that as we need to keep the budget cuts in proportion to spending, it will be split so that 55% comes from staffing costs and 45% from everything else. The plan is to make £3 million in savings from employment, so redundancies are inevitable. There will be 118 job losses which equates to nearly half of staff.
This no doubt is because the sale of PCS HQ in Falcon Road has run into trouble. Serwotka states:
This doesn't include "campaigns" though. Political activities will go on regardless he says.
"Business as usual" for the activists who run the union.
Projections for signing up members look bleak even from the "Dear leaders" view. PCS is likely to drop below 200,000. Despite "smoke and mirrors" this huge drop is not just down to "cuts" and job losses.
Sources indicate as many as one third of PCS reps have not yet signed up for Direct Debit. At the same time growing numbers of members are joining other unions or simply waiting for check off to end before they make a decision.
In a tirade similar to that of PCS Vice President John McInally of the Socialist Party Serwotka attacks the other unions:
There has been encouragement by management for staff to join other unions such as Unison, Prospect, and FDA. Francis Maude is on record as saying Unison are a more sensible union who understand when deals need to be done. To illustrate this, they have already gone behind our back to sign up to a dilution of an agreement over redundancy, even though it affects many PCS members and few Unison members. This has cut us out of negotiations, to the detriment of our members.
PCS is notoriously difficult when it comes to working with other unions due to the political sectarianism of the unions leadership. Serwotka & Co forced the closure of the Council of Civil Service Unions and behaved badly at meetings with other public sector unions during the pensions dispute.
Serwotka does not know how to negotiate. Its an "all or nothing approach" hence the loss of so many members from two major departments, a still on-going affair in the HMRC where a new union formed by those driven out of PCS by the far-lefts shenanigans is in the process of being set up.
Meanwhile at a London DWP Reps meeting John McInally faced a hostile reception as a report by the Independent Left website illustrates:
He said that we have to make £6.5m savings this year. This is the first time I’ve heard that figure. I asked whether that was based on a 75% re-sign rate? He didn’t respond.
He talked about Unison poaching our members and was particularly scathing about Prentis whom he said was refusing to meet with Serwotka despite repeated requests.
So Serwotka thinks other unions picking up members is "encouraged by management" and Unison are "poachers".
Nothing to do with the way you lot have run the union into the ground.
PCS members have a few weeks to decide their futures.
There ARE alternatives.
For HMRC staff: rctunion.org.uk/