The campaign to re-elect Chris Baugh as the Assistant General Secretary of PCS

This statement is to launch the campaign to re-elect Chris Baugh as the Assistant General Secretary of PCS.

Chris has been the union’s Assistant General Secretary/Treasurer since 2004 standing on a socialist Left Unity programme. He is standing for re-election in 2019. Please, join Left Unity and campaign and vote for him to be re-elected as the Left Unity candidate.

Chris has been elected and re-elected as the AGS of PCS three times.  He is a principled socialist with an outstanding track record supporting the union and our members. He grew up in the lay structures of CPSA/PCS on joining the civil service in 1975. As lead negotiator and President of Land Registry Group, Chris led successful disputes and built what remains one of the strongest Groups in the union).

Chris has been the candidate of Left Unity (LU) each time he has stood for election. (2004, 2009 and 2014). Chris is standing again to be the Left Unity candidate in 2019.  He stands for a campaigning, democratic, member led union. Despite his outstanding record, Chris faces a challenge for the nomination as LU candidate for AGS. Of course, nobody has the automatic right to remain unchallenged, but this decision to challenge Chris has not been justified industrially or politically and is divisive. We are forced to conclude that this move is part of a worrying trend towards the undermining of our union’s proud record as a campaigning member-led union.

If you want to support Chris, join and get involved in PCS Left Unity (insert link). Attend your local LU Group meeting in October and nominate him. Then vote for him at the November LU meeting. You can only do this if you are a paid up LU member at 30 September. Membership forms are available from Marion Lloyd or the Left Unity website

Chris Baugh has been active in the union as an elected lay rep since 1976 and as AGS since 2004.

Defending our members pay, terms and conditions 

Bargaining:  Chris has extensive bargaining experience, unmatched at senior level in the union. As AGS Chris Baugh leads the union’s collective bargaining at national level. Despite the Government’s reluctance to negotiate with unions, he has consistently argued that bargaining coupled with campaigning remains central to membership concerns and to membership recruitment and retention.

Campaigning: Chris will continue to work to ensure that PCS builds on the fantastic work of our reps in the recent pay ballot. Chris has a consistent record of support to reps and members in groups and branches in bargaining campaigns and disputes across the union including the private sector. He will also continue to campaign for our union to take the lead in systematically arguing for the maximum co-ordinated action across the Trade Union movement to defend jobs, pay, pensions and services.

Democracy: From his time as a Branch rep and NEC member, including a period as Vice President, he has fought for a democratic union, accountable to its members. When the ‘Moderates’ were in control of the union and collaborating with MI5 against their own union activists, Chris Baugh was one of those leading the fight against them. On the question of democratic control and accountability Chris supports Conference Policy of extending election of officers to include all the principal officers of the union. He will campaign to ensure that unelected officials work under the control of the lay structures and protect lay democracy at branch, group, regional and national level. This is even more important with the Tories attack on union rights and is why PCS needs an AGS who tenaciously defends union democracy

Role of Left Unity

At the founding Conference of the CPSA Broad Left in 1977 Chris argued for an open democratic and inclusive left, rank and file organisation to take on and defeat the right-wing. Chris believes Left Unity should give support to the elected left PCS leadership, but also hold the union leadership to account, as a fighting, campaigning, rank and file organisation.

A Jeremy Corbyn-led government

Chris Baugh welcomes the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader on an anti-austerity programme. But he has opposed attempts within the PCS leadership to move PCS towards affiliation to Labour in the current situation. Chris backs the union’s policy of supporting candidates who support PCS policies and membership interests. But as well as Jeremy Corbyn, within Labour there are also Blairite MPs, who attacked the pay and conditions of civil servants under New Labour, and still stand for cuts and privatisation today. Chris argues for the democratisation of the Labour Party, and the deselection of the Blairites.

Whilst Assistant General Secretary Chris has:

  • Navigated the union through the unprecedented Tory attack upon union finances, stabilising membership records whilst fighting to direct resources to the reps working on the ground. This has been fundamental to protecting the existence of our union.
  • Negotiated and secured the first national agreement on rights for Apprenticeships in the Civil Service. 
  • Alongside the NEC and Scotland reps, played a leading role in PCS’s intervention in the Scottish Independence Referendum, securing tangible gains for PCS members.
  • Worked with our elected Wales Committee to carry out union policy to consult members in Wales on demands upon the Welsh Government to shape the debate on devolution in the interests of PCS members and in defence of public services.
  • United Civil Service unions around a common collective bargaining framework agreement which has now been submitted to the employer.
  • Worked with young members to set up the Young Members Network in PCS in 2006 which has brought hundreds of young members into union activity. This is marked by the encouragement and support of young members in becoming active in PCS and the wider trade union movement.
  • Played a central role in establishing the PCS Tax Justice Campaign, as well as trade union alternative visions on Climate Change, Culture, Prisons, Aviation, Justice Sector and land ownership in the UK.

 Chris Baugh says:

“I am a member of the Socialist Party and have been a member of Broad Left/Left Unity for over 40 years. I was a key player in the PCS leadership that defeated the former right wing. I want to continue the fight to democratise PCS, to defend lay power at branch, regional, nation and group level, hold full time officers accountable to members and union policy.  I support extending the election of full time officers.

“I have worked tirelessly across the union to campaign against austerity and in building support for our bargaining demands and confidence in the power of the union to fight back. I will continue to do so.

“I will continue to keep to my promise to PCS members on being elected AGS to continue to repay part of my salary to union funds and make regular donations to strikes and labour movement and environmental causes in the UK and internationally.”