My name is Jas McGuinness and I am asking for your vote in the upcoming National Executive Committee election.
I joined CPSA in March 1995 as an employee of the Benefits Agency Medical Service and became a local rep in 1997 when we were privatised by Blair’s New Labour government. At that time I was part of the DWP Glasgow Central branch, but as I was no longer a civil servant, and all but three of the reps within BAMS had elected to remain within the DWP, it was decided that we would need to build a stand alone national branch to represent our members. This was done with the help of PCS full time officers and headquarters staff and the branch is currently the Maximus CHDA Branch.
I have been active within the union at both local and group level and am currently Branch Secretary, Health and Safety Officer and one of two Vice Presidents of the Commercial Sector Association, soon to be renamed the Private Sector Members Association.
I feel that it is vitally important for the privatised sector to have representation on the NEC as we are often overlooked as the national union fights for the majority of our members who are civil servants. The private sector is a very diverse section of our union with many different and changeable employers, the contract I work on has been held by French company SEMA, American company Sclumberger, Dutch Atos and now American Maximus. Each of these changes have required TUPE negotiations, with each company in turn trying to put it’s own stamp on the contract. This has been an ongoing struggle for the branch and as lead lay negotiator, I have ben involved in each TUPE and have managed, with the help of various FTOs to maintain many of the terms and conditions we enjoyed as civil servants.
I have also achieved some small victories on behalf of our members including the roll out of flexi-time to all of our admin staff after three years of talks with the current employer. This has once again become a battle as a result of the current pandemic as the company suspended flexi during the initial lockdown, and some local managers are being very slow in reintroducing it within their areas in spite of senior management instructions to do so.
Much of my time and energy as a rep over the past 24 years has been spent travelling the length and breadth of Scotland, England and Wales representing members where we don’t have reps, negotiating with management both local and national and carrying out recruitment drives for the union. Although these responsibilities are currently required to be done via zoom or teleconference, I hope to be back to face to face with members and management as soon as normality returns.
I am a socialist and a member of Left Unity, and I hope you will give your vote to myself and all those on the Democracy Alliance slate.
Full Democracy Alliance nomination list