It's been over a year since I was last active as a trade union representative and times are getting difficult in the workplace. There is a need for an active and responsible trade union in the civil service. There is such a union, that being Prospect, smaller than it's main "rival" but one that is entirely focused on essential trade union issues.
In many parts of the civil service including the two largest departments the situation has become dire, not helped by the antics of one of the other unions whose focus seems to be entirely political and has lost substantial ground as a result,
With changes to terms and conditions of service looming on the horizon in the DWP including evening and weekend working infringing on the work/life balance there is a need to rebuild the trade union movement.
Prsopect is one of the unions placed to do this and at last weeks Prospect DWP Branch AGM I became a representative and will be once again focusing activity on representing and defending members.
I have to say a break has done me good on a personal level and I feel both refreshed and ready to take on trade union duties once again. I have been active in the unions since the early eighties and recognise that without these organisations operating on our behalf things would be a lot worse.
With the resignation of Ian Duncan Smith and his replacement by Stephen Crabb there has never been a better time to return to the fold. Oddly the new Minister seems to be a wee bit of a religious fundamentalist. The Guardian:
A Tory cabinet minister has said that Britain’s increasingly secular society risks “pushing more young Muslims into the arms of Isis”.
Stephen Crabb, the Welsh secretary, used a speech to claim that a “hard-edged” secularism in Britain was partly to blame for “aiding and abetting” extremism, as mainstream religion is marginalised in public life.
Crabb is a committed Christian who voted against gay marriage and is one of at least two prominent members of the Conservative Christian Fellowship in the cabinet, alongside the education secretary, Nicky Morgan.
There are also concerns about his attitudes to equality as the Independent reports:
Prime Minister David Cameron announced today that Mr Crabb will replace Iain Duncan Smith in the senior cabinet role. In 2012, claims emerged that Mr Crabb was employing interns through a homophobic religious fundamentalist organisation and had begun his political career through involvement in the same scheme when he was young.
It seems that the defence of secularism may need to go hand in hand with the building of trade unionism in the civil service.
This blog will become more focused on trade union issues in the coming months but will also continue to campaign for secularism and the separation of religion and the state.
In the mean time readers who work in the civil service are cordially invited to join Prospect, a growing modern union.
Please go to: www.prospect.org.uk
Don't Delay. Join Today and build a better future.