Just before the Easter holiday's the PCS announced that they were to challenge the decision to end "check off" in the Department of Work & Pensions (the largest section of the union) in the High Court:
The Department for Work and Pensions had planned to end the decades-old system for collecting union subscriptions this week but has agreed to hold off after we lodged a case in the High Court....
DWP has confirmed it will delay its planned removal. We believe any attempt to press ahead with withdrawing check off while the court case is pending would be contemptuous.
Faced with this unprecedented attack on our finances, we have made great progress in switching our members to direct debit.
Around a third or more of PCS members have not signed up by "direct debit" and the crisis is nowhere more acute than in the London region where barely half of it's estimated 8,000 members have been persuaded to take up direct debit".
As PCS admits:
While this work will continue, the development in DWP is a significant step that will allow us to maintain our full income stream there for at least another month and protect the membership status of those who have not yet switched.
Or in other words to attempt to retain an income from those who may have expected their subs to end.
Some branches appear have been decimated (Central London and Wembley DBC) and others are being prepared for merger (North East London and Outer East London). Many members have been turning away from PCS for some time and are no longer impressed by the far-left leadership that has wrecked the union around them.
Only a lack of transparency, particularly through the cancellation of internal elections for both National and Group Executives along with some respect for local reps has kept the union going.
Whether the union wins it's challenge or not it is is more than clear this action was to prevent a financial collapse.The PCS leadership have no one but themselves to blame for this sad state of affairs and even now the bulk of the Socialist Party/SWP leadership are busying themselves in political activity to run the election campaign of the tiny and quite irrelevant "Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition" (TUSC).
The Serwotka/SP leadership are more interested in pursuing their political interests than working for members as has been their way since seizing control of PCS.
The PCS statement goes on to add:
It should also serve as a warning to other departments planning to remove check off, and we are raising this with them.
The HMRC are set to end "check off" this month" and the situation is even worse for PCS in that department. In addition to barely signing up under half their current members, they are also facing competition from the newly formed Revenue & Customs Trade Union.
The next legal challenge will take place against the HMRC.
For those of you who have recently changed unions in the DWP or are considering doing so you will need to contact Pay Section (via an RM service request) to cancel your PCS subscriptions.
There is an alternative. I have joined Prospect which is a proper (and growing) trade union. Wish I'd changed sooner!
Please go to: https://www.prospect.org.uk/