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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Stand Up To Racism - North West Regional Summit

Stand Up To Racism - North West Regional Summit
Supported by Unite Against Fascism

  • Saturday 23 June
  • 2pm to 5pm
  • The British Muslim Heritage Centre, College Road, Manchester M16 8BP.
To book places, please contact

Monday, 18 June 2018

London NHS demo 30 June - travel from Liverpool

Here are details of travel from Liverpool for the NHS demonstration in London on 30 June which PCS is supporting:

Keep Our NHS Public has booked a coach leaving from the Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BP at 7.00am on Saturday 30 June.

Tickets cost £20 waged and £10 unwaged and are available now from News from Nowhere, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY.

PCS NW office will circulate further travel information and details of local demonstrations as and when they receive them.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

The People's Festival Celebrating Chartism

Preston Peoples Festival: Sat 16 June 2018 
Festival Facebook page here.       Blog Preston post here.

The March of the Banners will take place after the dedication ceremony to the life of Mary Slater, a Preston nurse and heroine of the Spanish Civil War.

Banners ready for midday please at the Peace Garden, Friargate. The Banner March will move of at 12-30 led by the Lostock Hall Brass band.

Mary Slater served as a nurse with the International Brigade to help combat Franco's fascism. She was born in Preston on 24 January 1903, baptised 11 February at Preston St Mary's. Her parents were Charles Stephen and Mary Jane Slater and her father was a biscuit maker. They lived at 27 Ephrain Street.

Mary Slater
Mary was originally a weaver and via a trade union scholarship trained as a nurse. She was active in politics from an early age and was a lifelong anti-fascist. In 1931 Mary qualified as a nurse and when the Spanish civil War broke out in 1936 she went there and later joined up with the International Brigade to help combat Franco's fascism. She served in field hospitals. Many were without water which was brought in by cart. Sometimes Mary and other nurses were accommodated in local homes and schools but often they had to sleep in the open. On one occasion they converted a slaughterhouse near the fighting line into a hospital. They carried out hundreds of operations and nursed both soldiers and civilians, many of whom had pneumonia. There was no heating and they only had a few blankets. She nursed in a hospital where typhoid and dysentery broke out. Supplies were short and they only had methylated spirits and creosote to use as disinfectants. Their food often consisted only of dry bread and beans. 

She twice returned home to Britain for rest but during her rest periods, she toured the UK extensively with members of the International Brigade to raise money for Spanish Aid. Mary stayed in Spain until the civil war ended and was repatriated to Britain in August 1938. On her return, she nursed in the London Blitz. After she returned to Preston in 1945, she became matron of Ribbleton Day Nursery and then transferred to Deepdale Hospital until she retired. Mary died on 30 November 1983.

There are tapes of interviews with Mary Slater recorded in 1975 in the Imperial War Museum collections. The Imperial War Museum gives an outline of what the tapes contain, including these facts: Mary Slater was a former worker in a cotton mill who had attended Hillcroft College and then trained as a state registered nurse in London She left for Spain in 1936 without giving them notice, for which she was fined £5. This was ultimately paid by the Medical Aid Unit for Spain. "Is true working-class, having been a Lancashire mill girl before she trained as a nurse". There is a News Chronicle cutting in December 1938 with a picture of her accompanying 55 wounded from Spain to Victoria Station.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Mark Serwotka - public meeting in Liverpool

The PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka will be addressing PCS members at a public meeting on:
  • Wednesday 20 June
  • 12.30pm
  • Cotton Exchange, Bixteth Street, Liverpool, L3 9LQ.
Mark will provide an update on current issues and this is an opportunity to hear from the General Secretary at first hand. The meeting has been scheduled for lunchtime and we expect it to last about an hour which should allow members to attend in their own time.

To find the venue, there is a map here.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

ARMS North West Newsletter number 10 - June 2018

The ARMS NW Newsletter issue 10, June 2018, has just been published. 
To read it, click here. Previous newsletters are here.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Spirit of 1868, performed by Banner Theatre

"Why not have a Congress of our own?" said Samuel Nicholson, President of the Manchester and Salford Trades Council, who sent out the call to the first ever Trades Union Congress in 1868.

A stirring dramatisation of some of the struggles, protests and moments of resistance that shaped our past and our present! This play has been commissioned by the Mechanics Centre Trust to celebrate the founding of the TUC and 150 years of union struggle.

Book your tickets for the June 2nd 7.30pm show today! Ticket website here.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Conference votes to defend civil service pensions scheme

PCS national conference resolved on 23 May 2018 to defend the civil service pension scheme and other public service pension schemes and stay at the forefront of the fight for security and dignity in older age. Debating motion A63, proposed by Ian Albert on behalf of the NEC, conference heard how the government’s plans to shift away from defined benefit schemes and to offer only defined contribution schemes was part of its continuing attacks on public sector pensions.

Ian told conference we must resist the attacks on people in later life. He said: “It’s to the credit of this union in the way that we have stood up in defence of pensions but it’s a battle that’s far from over. The fight for dignity in retirement must go on, for the many, not the few.”

Renewed threat

The motion was seconded by Bobby Young of Revenue and Custom Glasgow and Clyde HMRC and Valuation branch. The motion condemned the government’s pension policy that will over time bring about a renewed threat to the future of the core civil service pension scheme. The motion reaffirmed our intention to explore any campaigning or legal options to challenge the use of measures such as CPI which offer less protection against inflation and to place unfair constraints on the transitional protection relating to imposed changes which have cut pension benefits.

It was agreed that PCS must work with the TUC, other trade unions, and campaigning organisations such as the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) and Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) to:
  • secure substantial improvements to the state pension
  • cancel any increase to the state pension age above 65
  • compensate women who were affected by the speeding up of the move to a single pension age
  • put back in place a state backed scheme which can guarantee an underpinning pension of 70% of the living wage, an option for an affordable earnings related pension
  • extend the means by which our members can exercise the option to buy additional state pension to compensate for contracted out pension equivalent (COPE) deductions.
The motion, which was carried, also called for civil service pension administrator MyCSP to be brought back into the civil service.

Friday, 25 May 2018

TUC Manchester - volunteers for stewards requested

With Congress taking place in Manchester this year, the TUC is looking for North West trade unionists, or friends and family, to help steward during the four days.

Congress will run from Sunday 9 September 2018 until Wednesday 12 September 2018. They are looking for people with some experience of event stewarding, and also welcome others with less experience who will be given roles which reflect this. There will be briefings beforehand and they will also provide online training for stewards.

They need approximately 25 stewards, who will work on a rota during the following hours:
  • 10.00am until 7.00 pm on Sunday
  • 8.15 am until 6.00 pm on Monday and Tuesday
  • 8.15 am until 4.00 pm on Wednesday. 
Stewards are paid a disbursement equivalent to the Living Wage, which is subject to income tax and national insurance deductions. In addition lunch will be provided for those working. The TUC will also cover a small amount of expenses relating to travel to and from the venue each day.

If you know of people who would be interested in doing this, could you please ask them to contact Jay in the first instance on 0151 482 2710 or