Debate on pensions campaign takes centre stage at conference

On Wednesday 23 May, PCS Annual Delegate Conference debated the emergency motion A584 regarding the national campaign on pensions.

Moving the motion Mark Serwotka, on behalf of the NEC, said that the union needed a strategy to get Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude back to the negotiating table, after the minister had refused our call for talks after 10 May.

“We are clear on the NEC that we cannot win on our own,” he said. “The overwhelming feedback from members after 10 May was that it was a brilliant strike but we need more unions with us to build momentum, not see it go back. […] It is through the strength of other unions that we can succeed – not potentially going it alone and being defeated.”

Others disagreed, arguing that the union should lead by example.

The lively debate covered a number of different motions on how to take the fight forward. Arguments for naming the next strike day regardless of other unions’ positions, for rolling and selective action, and for other tactics were all heard. However, the NEC motion placing the onus on re-building a coalition of unions before agreeing any concrete steps was overwhelmingly carried.

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