PCS members standing for TUSC on Thursday
The civil servants' union, the PCS, have been at the forefront of the fight against austerity. Two members of the PCS's leadership, the assistant general secretary Chris Baugh and vice-president John McInally, sit on the TUSC steering committee in a personal capacity. Sixteen PCS activists are standing for TUSC on 22nd May. Here some of them explain why:
Mark Benjamin (Click to enlarge)
"I am standing for TUSC in the local council elections as I believe that working class people deserve the opportunity to vote for a candidate who is willing to stand up for them, and say no to austerity and no to all cuts to public services. I have been involved in the local Save Ealing Hospital A&E campaign by participating in the marches, leafleting the public and gathering signatures for petitions".
Mark Benjamin, PCS Disabled Members Advisory Committee and TUSC candidate for Elthorne, Ealing
"All my life I have listened to big-business politicians spout how they are going to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, homelessness and unemployment but they never have! My wife has, like many people, been through ATOS and tribunals to get disability benefit. At work we are facing another round of redundancies. The government want me to work longer to get my pension yet also may want to sack me. I wish they would make their minds up!
"I do not want to see future generations struggling just to maintain an existence. Standing for TUSC is a big part of fighting to change that with socialist policies".
Joe Foster, PCS branch secretary at OFWAT, TUSC candidate for Erdington, Birmingham
"I am standing to offer an alternative to the three main parties in the council election who all, without exception, accept cuts in council services and bow the knee to the austerity inflicted by the Con-Dem government. The economic crisis is deepening and having a devastating effect on working people. We need a party which stands up for working people and the most vulnerable in our society. The 'austerity light' offered by Ed Miliband and New Labour is no solution. TUSC is such an alternative."
Gavin Hartley, PCS rep and TUSC candidate Brunshaw, Burnley
Nick Parker (Click to enlarge)
"I've been on strike fourteen times in the last six years. The first six occasions were under Labour. When they lost in 2010, some people thought they might get a kick up the arse and start standing up for us.
"No such luck. I've heard it once too often from the likes of Miliband and co that they will support this or that Tory policy, whether it's attacking workers for going on strike or supporting cuts and austerity.
"So it's time for working-class people to stop voting for politicians who will stab us in the back. We need to take things into our own hands and stand up for ourselves, which is why I'm proud to join fellow TUSC candidates in putting forward a fighting socialist alternative in these elections".
Nick Parker, PCS branch secretary in Lincolnshire and Lincoln & District TUC secretary, TUSC candidate for Abbey, Lincoln.