PCS

United we stay

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The PCS civil service workers' union conference last month may turn out to have been the most significant in the union's ten year history.

It was characterised by unity and consideration of the extremely difficult industrial and political circumstances we, and the rest of the public sector, face. Our activists have been engaged in an extended period of struggle over the past few years. We have upheld our principles of solidarity, unity and, crucially, independence from the political establishment. And we have shown that they work.

Building an alternative to New Labour

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As Gordon Brown's neoliberal attacks on workers intensify, Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS civil servants' union, outlines his vision for a fighting left in Britain today

The Tories, once thought by many to have been consigned to opposition for at least a generation, are gaining in the polls. The genuine hope that Labour would begin the long overdue process of reversing the effects of 18 years of Tory rule brought their 1997 landslide victory. But ten years on there is widespread disappointment and, arguably, we have a government in crisis. Gordon Brown has replaced Tony Blair - but with little evident effect or result in terms of government direction.

Make your vote count

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No doubt readers of Socialist Review are aware of the PCS dispute with the civil service and associated employers with the latest national strike which took place on 1 May.

We have been taking action over industrial matters - pay offers below inflation, job cuts, compulsory redundancies, attacks on conditions, the damaging effects of privatisation and outsourcing. But the problems public servants face (and not just PCS members, by any means) are the industrial relations consequences of decisions made by politicians.

They have decided that there must be a business case for everything. They consider that the pursuit of social benefit no longer justifies policy. There has to be a potential for profit to make any activity worthwhile to them.

Civil Service: Strike Bowlers

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The battle for the future of the civil service has begun.

Civil servants from the PCS union have responded to Gordon Brown's 104,000 job cuts threat with a two to one strike vote. The strike was on 5 November, just after Socialist Review went to press.

This will be the first national dispute in the civil service for over ten years, bringing together benefit workers, customs officers, museum curators, librarians, tax officers, court assistants and many more.

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