The elected National Committee of PCS Left Unity has unanimously agreed the following statement to activists in our union, as we head towards the final week of preparations before our national ballot on pay begins. Janice Godrich, the national president of the union and a member of Left Unity, has prepared a video for activists also.
LU statement on pay ballot
We all deserve a pay rise
Build the YES vote, beat the threshold
The Tories systematic attack on workers, the public sector in general and the civil service in particular led this year’s ADC to carry motion A283 which committed the NEC to organise a statutory ballot of members on a programme of industrial action to break the Cabinets Office’s 1% pay cap. This motion was carried overwhelmingly by ADC in a serious debate that reflected the determination of reps to achieve a decent pay rise for members this year.
Although PCS are currently in talks with the Cabinet Office the ballot will go ahead from 18 June until 23 July. This is to strengthen PCSs position during those talks.
It is crucial that members build to ensure that the legal barriers imposed by the Tories anti-union legislation are smashed out of sight. A 51% turnout might seem a big ask but activists should aim for an 80% + turnout.
Left Unity believes that despite the challenge ahead for us the underlying mood is one of optimism and there is a determination that we can win on pay and that a Yes vote is achievable.
We cannot underestimate how important it is to beat the politically motivated and imposed thresholds.
Many PCS members are on benefits to supplement their income while others have second jobs as they have seen their pay cut, in real terms, by thousands of pounds a year as a result of the cap.
It cannot be right that the government are allowed to treat its own staff in this appalling and ruthless manner, particularly on top of cuts to our pensions and compensation scheme. A weak government split down the middle by BREXIT can be challenged.
Between now, the start of the ballot and during the balloting period it is imperative that comrades play a massive role to ensure the message that we can win, gets over to members. We need to beat the thresholds and achieve the result necessary as this will not only strengthen our negotiating position but also send a clear message to the government that our members are angry and more importantly it will also prepare the ground to mobilise members if and when the need for any action is taken.
Wining this ballot is now the top priority for Left Unity. We urge all activists to work hard in their branches, regions and groups to make this all our priority and ensure we turn out the biggest vote possible to send a clear message to the government.
Marion Lloyd, LU National Chair
Gordon Rowntree, National Secretary