By Rob Williams, NSSN anti-cuts convenor - http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/12035/18-05-2011/pcs-conference-agrees-ballot-for-action-on-pensions
The conference taking place this week of civil servants in the Public and Commercial Services union ( PCS) has voted overwhelmingly to start a ballot for strike action against the Con-Dem attack on public sector pensions.
General secretary Mark Serwotka, in moving the motion for the ballot, made it clear how serious the union is on this issue by saying that the ballot is not a strategy to protest, but is a strategy to win.
He make it clear that with the PCS and other unions (NUT, ATL and UCU) balloting for strike action on pensions there could be three quarters of a million public sector workers on strike on Thursday 30th June.
Also, that by appealing to the large unions that are not yet balloting, four million workers could be on striketogether in the autumn if the government doesn't back down.
Three Socialist Party members spoke in theconference debate. One of them, Robbie Faulds from Sheffield, said that he had missed Mark Serwotka's speech in Hyde Park during the 26th March TUC demonstration because with the march being so large he had still been at the Embankment where the march had assembled.
He went on to say that his PCS members had marched alongside NUT members on that day, and should strike with them on 30th June. In reply to a solitary speaker who advocated that the ballot should be delayed until the autumn, Mark Serwotka said that 'if we go at the speed of the slowest union to take action, thousands of workers will have lost their jobs and pensions will already have been cut.
This motion is designed for taking action before it is too late'. The Socialist Party and the National Shop Stewards Network have been arguing that there should be solidarity demonstrations in every city on 30th June that can reach out to involve workers whose unions are not taking action yet and bring them on board for taking action in the autumn.