Article from the May 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

CPSU conference

For a democratic campaigning CPSU

The decentralisation of 10,000 civil service jobs will have a big effect on all CPSU members. For years, many CPSU members have tried to get transfers to areas nearer their home towns and counties. Now the Government for purely electoral reasons is rushing through the decentralisation process without consultation with the civil service unions and without answers to many major questions which effect our members' future.

By Terry Kelleher

It appears that a large number of higher grades in the civil service will refuse to move which will result in a large number of supernumary posts at higher grades and will in reality mean an embargo on promotions in Dublin.

The issues of the surplus and future career prospects need to be dealt with before our union should co-operate with this process and it needs to be a major issue at this month's annual conference.

Many CPSU activists are sceptical about the talk of a merger with IMPACT. IMPACT is a pro-social partnership union dominated by right wing bureaucrats.

A motion will be put to our annual delegate conference proposing a talks process over two years on whether a merger would be feasible. Activists will be outlining the many conditions which would have to be met before a merger could be considered including the need to ensure the democratic rights of our members and that any new union would be fully committed and made accountable to defending our members' jobs and conditions.

A similar motion to the PSEU conference which proposed three way merger talks with IMPACT and the CPSU was defeated.

The Government and the employers have entered the new round of social partnership talks calling for pay increases of less than 2%. CPSU members have been hit hard over the last few years by the rising cost of living and Government stealth taxes in rip-off Ireland.

CPSU members cannot afford to be bound to a low pay national wage agreement and we have to be ready to once again campaign for the breaking of the social partnership process which means that many if not a majority of our members can't afford to even buy a home!

In recent weeks CPSU General Secretary Blair Horan has attempted to gag our President Denis Keane. Blair Horan, unelected general secretary, wants to stop him (or any other CPSU president) from talking to the media. And what did Denis do to get Blair's blood up? He criticised Con Scanlon for making 1.9 million euro from an Eircom share deal!

Blair Horan's attempt to gag our elected president is an assault on our union's democracy and cannot be tolerated. This will be a contentious issue at conference and delegates need to send Blair Horan a message that unelected full time officials will not be allowed to take away the democratic rights of our elected union representatives.

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