After the most recent tranche of rolling strike action, the GEC announced that action short of strike would then be used to ramp up the pressure on the employer. A good call, and a way to maintain momentum without lots of sporadic one day strikes. Except that it hasn’t actually happened.
True enough, we’ve got an indefinite overtime ban and an indefinite work to rule (erroneously labelled as a good work strike), but there’s been no escalation whatsoever.
The overtime ban, after being dropped when we were falsely told that the Enabling Agreement of 2012 won us all the things we’re in fact still fighting for in the Jobs & Staffing Campaign, has been ongoing for a long time already. The only difference is that instead of being renewed for short periods in fits and starts, it’s now on til we win – as it should have been already.
The work to rule is a welcome start to on the job action. But the briefing announcing that action stated that “Further action short of strike, including targeted action around PMR, for August and September will be announced in due course.” GEC Liaison Officers elaborated on this by telling branches that we could expect a week on week escalation of the action, as decided by the GEC and coordinated by its Industrial Action sub-committee.
Since then, nothing has happened and August has come and gone, making targeted action for that month now impossible. We can still have action for September, but given that mid-year performance discussions are starting this week while guidance on PMR is still ‘being prepared,’ it all looks like a repeat of last year.
We have a live ballot and a live dispute with the Jobs & Staffing Campaign.
We have a Conference mandate, two years running, for non-cooperation and other industrial action over PMR.
The GEC itself voted for escalating action short of strike to further the campaign.
Yet nothing is happening and, like the abortive, frustrating year of inaction that was 2013, all we’re told is to wait as something is coming. But when? What?
We would suggest branches ought to ask our leadership those very questions and remind them of the Conference mandates that they remain so keen to ignore.