Sunday, May 17, 2009

PCS thinking ahead

This coming week comrades from our sister union PCS will be gathering in Brighton for their Annual Conference, among the topics to be debated is the future of the political campaigning undertaken by the Union.

A motion from the PCS NEC (available online as part of the Conference Agenda) calls upon Conference to instruct the NEC to;

1. Continue to campaign as an independent trade union, not affiliated to any political party;

2. Step up the Make Your Vote Count campaign;

3. Campaign in favour of proportional representation in line with the report issued to branches;

4. Consult branches on the question of supporting trade union candidates in elections, and on the question of PCS candidates standing in elections, and report to ADC 2010.

5. Participate in discussions and initiatives within the trade union movement on this issue.

This is certainly a far more thorough approach to reviewing the political campaigning activity of a trade union than that which we are being offered within UNISON. UNISON's Rule Book provisions in relation to our political fund and its two sections would preclude our Conference considering such a motion in the immediately foreseeable future.

Personally I would rather see us really trying to make use of our Labour Party affiliation by fighting alongside our true allies (rather than pretending to influence with New Labour Ministers in their last year of office). However we need to have an open and honest debate with the membership of our Union as PCS are preparing to do.

Even allowing for the age profile of our UNISON's leadership I don't think anyone can expect to put this debate off until they retire...


Anonymous said...

a bit late in the day for PR
but vital

The tories apart from trying to smash the unions, have you seen Conservative home - will simply say no trade union money for "political activity"

TonyC said...

talk about making a virtue out of necessity...

"Continue to campaign as an independent trade union, not affiliated to any political party"