Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Croydon North: Pledge to PCS from Respect Party candidate Lee Jasper


20th November by email:

Dear Keith

Thank you for your email regarding the PCS Make Your Vote Count campaign.   I can confirm that I fully support the five PCS Pledges set out below.

As the co-founder and national co-chair of BARAC UK, which PCS are affiliated to, I have been working with PCS members to campaign against public sector job cuts and for the alternative, including collection of the £120 billion that’s lost each year through tax evasion, tax avoidance and uncollected taxes. I have campaigned jointly with a member of the PCS National Executive Committee, Zita Holbourne who is the other co-founder and National Co-Chair of BARAC since BARAC was established in July 2010 as well as with the wider trade union and anti cuts movement including through my involvement with the Coalition of Resistance and Right to Work campaigns. Through BARAC I have highlighted the disproportionate impact on black workers and women and black women of public sector job cuts.

The aims of BARAC are:

To campaign and defend jobs and services

To highlight the disproportionate and adverse impact of the huge reduction in public spending on deprived communities

To provide a campaigning platform to fight against cuts to jobs and services

To work in partnership and build alliances with others facing and fighting similar attacks

Therefore they are in line with the PCS pledges.

I fully support the PCS campaign for fair pay and a living wage and have campaigned around the impact of cuts on the poorest in society with more and more people living in deprivation, struggling to make ends meet.

I am fully in support of the fair pensions campaign and have actively encouraged workers to join trade unions and participate in the days of action against attacks on pensions, including strike action. Through my BARAC role I have written to black workers setting out how the pensions attacks impact on them and why they should fully participate in action. I actively campaign around pensioner poverty.

I fully support the campaign for publicly delivered welfare services and programmes and campaign on these issues.

I am fully opposed to unpaid work placements and have worked with the Right to Work campaign, supporting protests against workfare. I also campaign for the rights of young people highlighting the disproportionate impact of cuts on young people with over one million young people unemployed and 1 in 2 young black people out of work and the impact of EMA being slashed and tuition fees doubled. BARAC works closely with its sister organisation the NUS Black Students Campaign.

The responsibility for the economic crisis lies with banks and not the people of Croydon North and yet they are seeing their services cut and the welfare reforms are causing real hardship and acute distress.
I will be articulating that there is another way. I will be arguing against the austerity programme and for investment in public services and jobs. I am looking forward to taking these argument to the voters of Croydon North.

Yours sincerely

Facebook: ‘Lee Jasper for Croydon North’
Twitter: Lee Jasper

Strike for the alternative

Dear Candidate

PCS MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT – Croydon North by-election

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is the fifth largest trade union in the UK, with over 265,000 members.  We are organised throughout the civil service and government agencies, making us the UK’s largest civil service trade union. We also organise widely in the private sector, usually in areas that have been privatised. As a union, we value our independence and accordingly we do not affiliate or otherwise support any political party.

According to our records, we have at least 1165 members who are eligible to vote in the Croydon North constituency.

Since 2005 when our political fund was established we have run pre-election Make Your Vote Count campaigns in local, Scottish, Westminster and European elections, seeking candidate views on issues of concern to our members. We will publish responses on our website.

We are repeating that approach in this by-election and therefore would like you to consider the following pledges and let us have your response by 20 November. We are sponsoring the Croydon Advertiser candidates’ question time meeting on that date and inviting all our members living in the constituency to attend along with members from other trade unions and organisations we work with.

1.             I pledge to support PCS campaigns against public service job cuts and for an alternative to economically damaging austerity policies.
2.             I pledge to support the PCS campaign for fair pay and a living wage for workers.
3.             I pledge to support the PCS campaign for fair pensions for all; including calling on the government to protect public sector pensions ensuring that they’re not linked with the state pension age, that the government addresses pensioner poverty and that companies are prevailed upon to ensure they fulfil their pension obligations to staff.
4.             I pledge to support the PCS campaign for publicly delivered welfare services and programmes based on dignity and support for those unable to work.
5.             I pledge to oppose unpaid work experience placements which exploit young jobless people, and discourage employers from genuine job creation and paying fair wages.

Thank you for considering this request and I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely
Keith Johnston
Regional Secretary (PCS London & South-East)