This post will serve as a round up of all of the coverage and debate over the PCS suspension of elections. It will be updated (semi-)regularly and comments are welcome if I’ve missed any pieces off. Hat-tip to Employment Writes for pointing us in the direction of some pieces we might otherwise have missed. Latest update 02/03/15.
Whilst this blog exists to promote the reinstatement of elections, it doesn’t take any particular ideological or factional line and so links posted do not necessarily mean an endorsement of the politics therein.
If we’ve missed any links out, please mention them in the comments.
The union announced its decision under the headline Government steps up political attack on PCS. It has then reiterated the importance of the decision in an update titled Fighting the union-busters, had the General Secretary justify the decision in a video, and provided a further update due to changes in some financial matters.
Only the Socialist Party (whose members include the union’s president, vice president and assistant general secretary) and the PCS Left Unity Faction (which is the dominant partner in the coalition which holds every seat on the NEC) have written in support of the decision. For the Socialist Party, PCS VP John McInally has also berated opponents of the decision as opportunist sectarians, while for Left Unity Kevin McHugh has detailed the background to the decision.
The PCS Independent Left have been particularly prolific (reverse chronological order) in opposition:
- Campaign for PCS Democracy
- ‘Ends determine the means’
- Open the books!
- Incompetence or cynicism?
- Democracy in PCS: New website
- Check off: Many warnings were given but little action was taken
- We warned of financial ruin
- The Solution by Bertolt Brecht
- A joint LU/IL slate proposed to IL before the election was suspended
- The PCS Generals
- The “bold” financial decisions –sale of HQ and other matters
- How did you learn that the NEC has saved you the trouble of voting for it?
- Does the NEC have the right to suspend the elections?
- Suspension of elections and transfer to Unite the Union
- PCS Leadership attack our union’s democracy!
PCS Your Voice have released a statement on why they oppose the suspension.
The Way I See Things blog links the move to the possible merger with Unite.
The Socialist Worker’s Party points out that its members on the NEC opposed the move, reproducing their statement, and reports briefly on attempts to overturn the decision.
Howard Fuller’s blog has three pieces on the matter (reverse chronological order):
- PCS frets over leaked documents
- PCS: Is this how a union ends?
- PCS suspends internal democracy as financial crisis deepens
The PFLCPSA website covers the issue in its Christmas edition.
PCS Bootle Taxes Branch reports on their executive’s opposition to the decision (ratified by members at their AGM) and also offers a very informative report of a briefing by Mark Serwotka regarding the union’s financial situation and the elections. They have also published Serwotka’s reply to correspondence from the branch.
PCS DWP Leicestershire Branch argues that whether the decision was right or wrong, the real fight is with the Tories.
PCS DCLG National Branch has written to the national president.
A motion to reinstate elections unfortunately fell at the PCS R&C Glasgow & Clyde AGM.
Employment Writes gives us three pieces:
- Mark Serwotka responds on suspension of PCS Union elections
- Why trade union elections are expensive
- Cancelling Elections
- PCS Union’s suspension of elections.
Socialist Resistance gives us their two cents on the matter.
Jon Rogers, a Unison NEC member characterises PCS’ decision as “An Early Xmas present for the Tories” and comments that “The General Secretary himself is not above the Rule Book.”
A Tumblr called Its Spirit Cries In The Wilderness covers the issue from an anarcho-syndicalist perspective.
Worker’s Power argue that the PCS ‘left’ ditches democracy.
Jon Bigger, a former PCS rep in the Home Office, references his own MA involving research into PCS when discussing the union’s democracy.
The Communist Party of Great Britain writes that Building the Union is no lottery.
Libcom.org takes a wider view in Government Union Busting and PCS response.
Labour Uncut links the matter to the Unite merger.