Steve Swainston DWP

For DWP Assistant Secretary

I’ve been a PCS rep for 18 years, motivated by my belief in the need for fairness and equality, but also with the knowledge that many of the rights and conditions we have in work and in society were not given but won.

PCS has been an active and fighting trade union for many years and Left Unity has been the driving force behind it and I am proud to be a longstanding Left Unity member and am currently the DWP Left Unity Secretary.

Since the start of the pandemic, I, and others in the Left Unity leadership of the GEC, have been working hard for members, protecting them in work by agreeing thousands to be able to work from home and reducing to a minimum those in offices in order to reduce the risk of infections. We know that the Government drive to open Job Centres to undertake face to face interviewing has still meant more have been in offices than should be there; nonetheless, we have pushed them back time and again and secured concessions from the employer. That fight goes on and I will continue to resist any attempts to force members to work in unsafe conditions.

Throughout the last year I have been part of the negotiating team who have won permanent contracts for over 6,000 AO staff and continue to press for permanent contracts for the 183 who have not had their confirmed yet. We are also pushing hard for all the members on FTA contracts to be made permanent.

I have also helped secure thousands of additional staff in DWP, though many more are needed, to address the rising work pressures on our members. I will continue to campaign for recruitment into DWP on permanent contracts.

If re-elected to as DWP Assistant Secretary I will continue the fight for members. I will continue to work with the leadership of the national union fighting for fair pay and pensions, and to address the cost-of-living crisis experienced by members across the union. I’ll also continue to fight to keep members safe at work, for permanent contracts for our remaining FTA staff, for the end to privatisation of our work, and for the return of work already moved out. I will help push for the additional staff so needed across DWP to alleviate pressure on members, and allow us to deliver the excellent services our members want to provide, and which the public are entitled to expect.

In 2022 we know we face further battles on planned office closures despite the need for more, not less staff in DWP and I will fight to ensure no-one is forced out of the Civil Service against their will, and to prevent closures of offices which would be detrimental for our members.

We face a Government intending to impose more harsh sanctions on claimants, who will use our members as the tool to inflict these on the public; damaging the value and good-will the we have gained with the people throughout the pandemic when they have seen our importance to society. They do this not only as a way to inflict their ideological assault on the poor, but to weaken support for our demands for fair pay, pensions and conditions. Alongside the Left Unity GEC members, I will ensure that it is clear to the public that it is the Tories, not our members, who are the authors of the pain inflicted on the them. I believe wholeheartedly in the work our members do to support claimants, and I will fight to ensure they bear none of the blame for the Conservative agenda which seeks to make the poorest in society pay for the cost of the pandemic.

This year we will face numerous challenges. It is only with the strong, united, determined and principled leadership which Left Unity offers we can succeed in winning for members. We need a leadership who are prepared to take action that can win for members. Not one who will simply launch into industrial action regardless of the chance of success in order to justify a spurious argument that they are the more radical option. I believe we should do the work, the preparation and the engagement with members to give us the best chance to win real gains. I know that I and the others in Left Unity are the ones who will do the best job of this for our members.

Please vote for everyone on our slate in the coming elections, as well as voting for action over pay in the National ballot which starts on 14th February!