Saturday, May 21, 2011

PCS defends the Welfare State whilst others attempt to destroy it..

"This coming year is going to be one of the most challenging years for the trade union movement - and public sector trade unions in particular - as the coalition government seeks to make the public sector and its workforce pay for the crisis, through cuts to jobs, services, pay and pensions.

"We will need to be creative in our campaigning, tough in our bargaining, and prepared to take action. We will continue to work, and build links, with other trade unions to make our voice as powerful as possible in our campaigning and in any industrial action.

"We can work together, campaign together and, yes, strike together - and together we can win."
Mark Serwotka  PCS General Secretary at the recent annual conference.

The welfare state is one of our nation's greatest achievements and should be "celebrated, not destroyed" by the government's ideological ambitions.

Speaking ahead of the launch of a new pamphlet published by the union that sets out a decisive defence of welfare and the entitlement to universal support, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the coalition has used the economic crisis to try to unravel years of progress in protecting some of the most vulnerable in society.

The pamphlet - ‘Welfare: an alternative vision’, includes sections on unemployment; low income; disability; children; housing; pensions; and the delivery of welfare services - and will be launched at an event this evening at the union's annual conference in Brighton. It calls for:
  • A welfare state that ensures everyone has a decent standard of living free from poverty
  • A government that commits to full employment
  • A welfare system based on need, not moral judgements
  • A government that acknowledges and respects the work of dedicated Department for Work and Pensions staff
  • And end to end low pay that leaves people dependent on means-tested benefits.
Mark Serwotka, who started his working life in the then Department for Health and Social Security, said: “Our welfare state is one of our nation’s greatest achievements and should be celebrated not destroyed.
“It is the mark of a civilised society that we support people when they are in need, whether they are ill, disabled or unemployed. Welfare is there to provide a decent existence.

“The constant denigration by ministers of those who receive welfare support is utterly shameful and seeks to blame those most affected by a crisis caused by greed and recklessness in the financial sector.”

Download the document

 Welfare: an alternative vision

During his speech Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of PCS, mentioned that a trade union nationally had jointly sponsored a pamphlet with a company aiming to further privatise public services and in particular introduce notions of US style workfare to Britain.  After shouts from the audience Mark revealed that it was the GMB.

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