Socialist Worker

PCS


Rage against uncivil coup

15 June 2002
THE BATTLE for democracy in the PCS civil servants' union is continuing. The right wing dominated national executive launched a coup three weeks ago to remove the elected general secretary, socialist Mark Serwotka. They wanted to replace him with discredited general secretary Barry Reamsbottom.

This is a battle to defend democracy

08 June 2002
THE RIGHT wing coup in the PCS civil servants' union has been greeted with a storm of protest from the union's members. Two weeks ago the right wing majority on the union's national executive launched the coup when they tried to remove socialist Mark Serwotka as PCS general secretary.

A coup against union democracy in the PCS

01 June 2002
THE RIGHT in the PCS civil servants' union have launched one of the most disgusting assaults on union democracy for years. They have carried out a coup and sacked the elected general secretary of the union. In December 2000 socialist candidate Mark Serwotka received 40,740 votes to win the election for PCS general secretary. He beat Blairite candidate Hugh Lanning by 7,000 votes.

Battle for democratic control of political fund

25 May 2002
THE FUTURE of the political fund and the relationship between trade unions and the Labour Party were major issues at three union conferences last week. Debates at conferences of the TSSA rail union, the civil servants' PCS union and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) showed the continuing mood of anger with New Labour.

PCS conference

18 May 2002
THE PCS civil servants' union conference began as Socialist Worker went to press. The union has been moving to the left since the election of socialist Mark Serwotka as general secretary in December 2000. This trend is now becoming even clearer.

Gains for the left

04 May 2002
LEFT WING candidates have made gains in elections for the national executive of the civil servants' PCS union. Scottish Socialist Party member Janice Godrich has been elected president and Steve Cawkwell vice-president.

'Turn May Day into our day' – unite resistance to privatisation and war

13 April 2002
A call has gone out to trade unionists to "Make May Day our day". The appeal is from former Labour MP Tony Benn, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. It slams New Labour's privatisation plans and anti trade union laws. It also points out how the government's war plans against Iraq are opposed by the majority of the population.

PCS accept pay offer

06 April 2002
Civil servants in the PCS union in DEFRA, formerly the Ministry of Agriculture, have voted to accept management's revised pay offer for 2001-2. Workers will receive increases from April 2000 of at least £2,000.

NUT conference: teachers back call for protest against privatisation

06 April 2002
Pressure for a united demonstration by public service workers against the government's privatisation drive is mounting. Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference voted last weekend to back a national anti-privatisation demonstration. That comes after the call for such a protest by Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. Other public sector workers now have a chance to press their unions to take up the call.

Throw out this new offer

27 March 2002
The management of the government's new Jobcentre Plus scheme have made a new offer to civil servants in the PCS union working in job centres and benefits offices. Ballot papers were sent out this week. Union leaders are recommending that members accept the offer, but it falls far short of what members need. The dispute was centred on New Labour's plans to scrap safety screens in the newly amalgamated offices.

Civil servants

16 March 2002
STRIKERS FROM all over Britain lobbied the national executive meeting of the civil servants' PCS union last week. They were representing 750 people who work in the government's trial Pathfinder scheme which merges job centres and benefits offices. They have been on all-out strike since at least last October.

Civil Servants

09 March 2002
The national strike involving tens of thousands of members of the PCS civil servants' union in job centres and benefits offices is hanging in the balance. The group executive committee, which runs the dispute, is calling for a one-day strike on Tuesday 2 April-the day the government's flagship Jobcentre Plus scheme is officially launched.

Civil servants

02 March 2002
The national dispute by tens of thousands of benefits office and job centre workers in the PCS civil servants' union has taken another major blow. The group executive committee, which runs the dispute and is dominated by the Left Unity group, decided on Monday of this week to recommend no action until a one-day strike for Tuesday 2 April. This is the day that New Labour's flagship Jobcentre Plus welfare scheme is officially launched.

Job centres

23 February 2002
The national strike of tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union working in job centres and benefits offices is reaching a crucial point. We are striking over the removal of safety screens in the newly merged Jobcentre Plus offices.

DEFRA

16 February 2002
The government has made its third pay offer to workers in the DEFRA department under pressure from industrial action. The workers, members of the PCS union, used to work in the MAFF government department.

New dates for action

16 February 2002
Civil Servants working in job centres and benefits agencies are set to hold their next strike on 6 and 7 March. The workers, members of the PCS union, have held two-day strikes on two occasions since mid-December.

How to boost the dispute

09 February 2002
New Labour is determined to break the national dispute involving tens of thousands of job centre and benefits office workers. The government wants to seriously weaken the strikers' PCS union. An internal document for MPs and managers says that the dispute is a "matter of principle" and that the government will not negotiate.

Standing firm against New Labour agenda

02 February 2002
A national strike by tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union on Monday and Tuesday of this week defied New Labour and bullying management. It is the second two-day strike by workers in benefits agencies and job centres. The first one was in mid-December. They are challenging the government's plans to remove safety screens in the newly merged benefits agencies and job centres-Jobcentre Plus. Reports were coming in as Socialist Worker went to press that strikers were holding firm.

Wider focus key to making strike bite

26 January 2002
Tens of thousands of civil servants are set to strike next Monday and Tuesday. The workers are PCS union members in benefits offices and job centres. They are striking against New Labour's plans to remove safety screens in the amalgamated benefit agencies and job centres being set up.

Prepare for new strikes

19 January 2002
CIVIL SERVANTS who work in Britain's job centres and benefits offices are preparing for their next round of strikes on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 January. The action, by members of the PCS union, is a great opportunity to turn up the heat on New Labour and civil service management. New Labour increased its intimidation of strikers last weekend with the threat that people will not receive promised promotions if they continue to strike. "The decision makes clear the contempt in which management holds members' concerns," said Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary elect.

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