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24 February 2021

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HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

PCS members on strike, photo Helen Pattison

PCS members on strike, photo Helen Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

An HMRC worker

PCS members in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are voting on a pay deal. The deal is for a 13% pay increase over three years, but if agreed would put all staff onto a new contract with a significant worsening of conditions for many members.

The proposed pay deal has created divisions on the left in the HMRC group. This has led to the expulsion of left activists, including Socialist Party members, from Left Unity - the current leadership group within PCS. These activists oppose the pay deal, are campaigning against it in the ballot and, together with other reps, are contesting PCS national and group executive elections as Broad Left Network (BLN) candidates: the BLN is a rank-and-file socialist group within the union.

The expulsions from Left Unity are claimed to be for the decision to oppose/not recommend Left Unity candidates. But the political and hypocritical nature of the expulsions is clear.

A number of the people behind this decision refused to recommend and campaign for Chris Baugh, the Left Unity candidate in the assistant general secretary election. As a consequence he lost. No action was taken against these people, which included the Left Unity chairperson.

The national leadership of Left Unity backed the pay deal in HMRC and at group level made no recommendation. This divisive deal, which means a significant worsening of conditions for a large number of members, was negotiated in conditions of secrecy. It is being balloted on without the full details and impact of the deal being made known to members.

Those in HMRC standing as Broad Left Network election candidates are opposed to this divisive, strings-attached pay deal and to the imposition of the new contracts on members whether they like it or not. They are opposed to the secrecy surrounding the negotiations resulting in the deal. They are opposed to a ballot which misrepresents and keeps vital information from members. Opposition to the deal is the basis of their decision to stand for election as Broad Left Network candidates.

The proposed HMRC deal, if accepted, will strike a huge blow against the union's national campaign for a decent no-strings pay increase for all PCS members.

This was already damaged by the Left Unity leadership's handling of the 2020 pay campaign, which parked the union's agreed 10% pay claim as a gesture towards national unity with the Tory government. This gesture was thrown back in their face by the Tories, leading to the abandonment of the pay campaign and to an emboldened government announcing a further pay freeze.

PCS national elections are underway with nominations to be agreed at branch annual general meetings taking place now until 11 March. The Broad Left Network candidates are listed below.


PCS Broad Left Network election candidates - vote for the following

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In The Socialist 24 February 2021:


Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage


What we think

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour


News

Justice for Moyied Bashir

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run


Lessons from history

How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act


Workplace news

Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'

"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action


TUSC

Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Scottish TUSC election campaign launch

Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


Campaigns news

W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Coventry success building subscriptions

Socialist Students conference - postering

Save John Carroll Leisure Centre

Getting the Socialist out in lockdown


LGBT+ history month

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

Tories tout toilet tensions


International news

Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!


Readers' opinion

Film Review: The White Tiger

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

HM Revenue and Customs:

triangleHMRC: Pay deal agreed but at what cost?

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

triangleVital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

triangleBillionaires avoid paying and even talking about tax! Take the wealth off the 1%

triangleStrategic discussion needed after pay ballot

Pay:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleBristol Water walkout

triangleMarley Tiles workers strike against bullying bosses

triangleElect a socialist leadership to fight for national action and a united campaign

HMRC:

triangleHMRC: We demand a pay rise without cuts to terms and conditions

triangleHMRC pay talks - PCS needs to organise members now

trianglePCS: "Under the right leadership workers are prepared to fight"

DWP:

trianglePCS: Vote for rank-and-file socialist Broad Left Network candidates

triangleStrong union lead needed to stop DVLA Covid spread

Candidates:

triangleGMB general secretary election: A fighting, socialist leadership needed

Article dated 24 February 2021

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Sparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

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