The upcoming general election will shape the United Kingdom for generations to come and, whoever wins, the implications for the union and your working life will be huge.
During these volatile political times, and in the years ahead, you will need a strong union more than ever.
Choosing which political party or candidate to vote for is a personal choice to be made by you, and you alone. Regardless of who governs the UK, PCS will be there to fight your corner. But we would be failing in our duty to protect your interests if the union didn’t set out the effects on your working life.
For nearly a decade you have faced attack after attack from the Conservatives on your pay, pensions and terms and conditions. PCS members have been at the forefront of resisting this grossly unfair treatment and we have won important victories along the way.
It’s clear that a win for the Conservatives will intensify these attacks and accelerate the race to the bottom on workers’ rights. The UK already has the most restrictive trade union laws in western Europe and this is something with which PCS members are all too familiar. Following two huge votes for action in national ballots over pay, the undemocratic laws stopped us from taking action. The Conservatives want to increase the restrictiveness of these laws and your ability to organise at your place of work will be undermined even further.
A Labour government, on the other hand, has pledged to end the hostility towards the civil service and related areas by giving hard-working PCS members a much-deserved above-inflation pay rise, reintroducing national pay bargaining and rectifying the issue of public sector pensions. They’ve also committed to halting the office closure programme and ending cuts to redundancy payments.
A victory for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in this election presents an enormous opportunity for PCS and the membership. That’s why it was agreed by our NEC that, while recognising the different political situations in the nations and devolved areas of the UK, a Corbyn-led Labour Westminster government is in the best interests of PCS members.
With the ongoing political uncertainty and unrest, building the strength of the union in the face of these challenges is vital. The consequences of this election will have a defining impact on your working life and – whatever the result – PCS will be by your side, standing up for you.
This article first appeared in PCS People issue 3, 2019.