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Introduction and background Conference debate for three years on expanding remit of political fund Two consultations with branches (2010 and 2011) ADC.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction and background Conference debate for three years on expanding remit of political fund Two consultations with branches (2010 and 2011) ADC."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Introduction and background Conference debate for three years on expanding remit of political fund Two consultations with branches (2010 and 2011) ADC 2011 agreed to support a full membership ballot on standing or supporting candidates in national elections in exceptional circumstances We need to step-up our political campaigning to defend members jobs, pensions and pay

3 Coalition government cuts programme Current attacks by government to our members jobs, pensions, pay and services they receive as taxpayers Labour agrees with most cuts – Ed Balls January 2012 quote “I am afraid, we are going to have keep all these cuts”. No mainstream political opposition to the cuts and so we need to provide one

4 Ballot questions Two questions – Do you agree with the unions' political campaigning strategy? – Do you agree that the union should have the authority to stand or support candidates in national elections when it would help to defend members jobs, pay, pensions and public services?

5 Political fund and our campaigning We already use our political fund during election times through Make Your Vote Count (MYVC) to raise our issues MYVC has been useful but need a campaigning process to successfully hold candidates to account year-round Established effective parliamentary groups in Westminster, Scotland and Wales to raise our issues Lobby and engage with MLAs in Northern Ireland

6 Make Your Vote Count Since 2007 questioned candidates standing in elections across country on our issues and published responses to members The campaign has publicised our issues, but not always managed to get wide support from candidates Campaign useful but we need to step it up as attacks are more vigorous We need to focus our attentions on candidates who could have a positive impact on our members’ terms and conditions and also run our political campaigning year round, not just at election times

7 Our current national campaign Consensus on cuts from mainstream parties Need to have a voice championing the alternative In our current campaign we need to lobby and exert pressure on ministers and the opposition to support our demands Established joint working with other unions and campaigning organisations to demonstrate there is an alternative to cuts

8 Key messages We want to step up our campaign to defend jobs, pay, pensions and services PCS members deserve a voice at election time Political not party political – not affiliating to a political party No increase in members subscriptions More effectively fight the BNP and the far right

9 Campaign activities May: Reps briefing sessions and sessions at group and annual delegate conference June: Workplace meetings and discussions about what this would mean in practice June: Leafleting, talking to members face-to- face and reminding members to vote 7 June – 29 June: Ballot dates. Members can vote by phone, post and internet

10 Materials and resources Regional MYVC co-ordinators in each regional/national office to support branch activity Articles since January in PCS national journals March: Webpages launched – April: BB and pocket guide despatched to reps

11 Materials and resources cont. May: Vote yes and don’t forget to vote materials despatched to branches May: Materials to despatched to equality networks, young members, members in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and members working in the commercial sector Generic articles produced that can be used in branch/group publications

12 Civil service code Civil servants are restricted from taking part in political activities Following ADC 2011 motion we have approached cabinet office to negotiate a change in the code Awaiting a meeting to discuss this

13 Scenario 1 A by-election has been called where an MP has died. In the constituency there has been a cross union public service alliance campaign taking place against the closure of a local office where PCS members work and of a local hospital. A wide range of union members, together with local community groups, have been working together to publicise the proposed closures. A member of a local community group decides to stand in the election on a ‘no cuts’ platform. Labour affiliated unions locally cannot formally support the standing of the candidate, but many of their members do support the candidate’s election campaign. PCS and the local community swing behind the election campaign.

14 Scenario 2 A prominent government minister, responsible for widespread cuts in a national public service is standing for re-election at a general election. None of the candidates from the major political parties oppose the cuts that the minister has made. Local trade union members and activists groups come together to select an anti-cuts candidate who will stand and whose campaign will highlight the case against cuts and for well- funded public services.

15 Scenario 3 An MP is standing for re-election to Parliament. The MP in question has worked tirelessly on behalf of PCS members, supported our campaigns and joined our members on picket lines. The NEC and local branches call for the MP to be backed in recognition of the work the MP has done in not only defending our services, but voicing an alternative to cuts.


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