The group’s first motion this morning (19 May), proposed by Mandy Priest of DWP Dorset branch and seconded by Glasgow benefit centre branch, opposed the “implementation of a system based on punishment”.
> The “implementation” ? Bit late opposing the implemention – its been with us for several years ! As PCS’ DWP members must be aware.
The motion also said the “widest possible campaign across the trade union movement” was needed to defeat the government’s attacks on benefit claimants.
> The government’s attacks, certainly. But it’s DWP staff who implement them.
Gerry McMahon from Glasgow benefit centre branch said: “The welfare state has been under attack in Britain for many years. Huge cuts have been made that make life on benefits much harder.”
Gerry highlighted the fact that a group of religious leaders have said that hunger is now a national crisis and said our union needs to take up its welfare campaign “like never before“.
Nick Parker, from our Lincolnshire and Rutland branch, called for a united campaign involving “as many people as possible to defeat attacks on welfare”.
Tony Church, speaking on behalf of the group executive, said: “In the 90s John Major, the Tory prime minister, said we were living in a classless society. It was a lie then it’s a lie now. The current coalition goverment is probably the most divided ever.”
He said that welfare reform was just another name for screw the poor.
The motion instructed conference to campaign for:
- Fair, decent levels of benefit
- The repeal of the Bedroom Tax and benefit cap
- A mass council house building scheme
- The abolition of the work capability assessment
- The abolition of workfare and removal of the sanctions regime
- A publicly-run, fair and decent social security system as part of a welfare state based on people’s needs.
The motion was passed unanimously.
> Fine words. But will PCS DWP members refuse to sanction people ? Not send people to workfare ? They could make a start, right now. They probably wont, though.
Source – PCS Union website, 19 May 2014