Steve West DWP

For DWP Assistant Secretary

I feel privileged to be on the DWP Left Unity slate for a position as a Group Assistant Secretary (A.S.).

I am currently an A.S. with joint responsibility for negotiations with the employer regarding Universal Credit, and overall responsibility for our negotiations with Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt, which includes National Insurance Number Operations.

Over the last year the Left Unity GEC has worked with branches to secure a number of important achievements. These include winning permanent jobs for 6,000 AO FTA staff, and securing safe working from home for thousands of members in Back of House roles.

The extent of the attacks PCS members face from the employer on safety, jobs and working conditions means we need a strong leadership more than ever. I hope you will vote for and campaign for all of the comrades on the DWP Left Unity slate to ensure this leadership continues.

I am a lifelong socialist and trade unionist. I joined the Socialist Workers Party 39 years ago, when I was 17. In 1984, I started work in Hackney Social Security office and immediately joined CPSA (a predecessor union of PCS). The following year I became a local office rep and since then have held positions at various levels of CPSA, and then PCS.

Over the years I have worked in Hackney, Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy, Bristol and am now again based in Edinburgh.

My jobs have been in Social Security offices, Jobcentres and what is now the Child Maintenance Group. I am currently a Work Coach at Leith Jobcentre, Edinburgh.

Being active in the wider working class movement is extremely important to me, and PCS activists must play our part in this. For a number of years I have taken a leading role in Stand Up to Racism (SUtR) Edinburgh, speaking at a number of rallies as a PCS Left Unity member, having been proud to move the motion at PCS Conference which resulted in our union affiliating to SUtR. I have recently been elected as Vice-Chair of the Edinburgh and Lothians May Day Committee, and will be a delegate to the STUC Congress on behalf of PCS.

In addition to my A.S. position, I am Secretary of PCS DWP Edinburgh, Lothian & Borders Branch. I am leading a local campaign to save jobs at Bathgate following the employer’s decision not to include the FTA AO staff based at that office within the 6,000 they had decided, following PCS pressure, to make permanent.

UPDATE – This campaign has been partially successful, with the FTA AOs at Bathgate now having been offered the opportunity to be made permanent.