The PCS civil service workers’ conference this week sees a major debate about the strategy needed to win our dispute with the government over 100,000 job losses, low pay and privatisation.
PCS members have struck solidly over these issues twice already this year, including on May Day.
The national leadership has laid down a strategy for how we deliver more action to increase the pressure on the government. We want to link up with other unions wherever we can to take coordinated action in defence of public services.
Other unions are moving towards action against the public sector pay freeze.
There has to be a focus on the Labour Party conference in September, which will be the first with Gordon Brown, the architect of the attacks on the public sector, as leader.
We need a national strike day and a demonstration at the conference, organised with other unions if possible.
However we must be prepared to take action by ourselves if necessary.
The results of the recent union elections show that the membership backs the leadership’s strategy.
The Democracy Alliance slate – a coalition of the socialist Left Unity and centre-left PCS Democrats – won the national executive elections overwhelmingly.
The right wing was defeated, as was a left wing group that stood in order to criticise the national leadership’s handling of industrial disputes.
Three Socialist Worker supporters were elected to the national executive.
The union also needs to keep fighting on the political front. The Make Your Vote Count campaign that the PCS launched before this month’s elections has been very important.
In Nottingham the leader of the Labour council said he supported our campaign. Now we have to hold him to his word.