After previous national ballots failed to reach the 50% threshold, the most recent vote on industrial action was done separately for each bargaining unit. This meant that only those bargaining units that reached the 50% threshold could be in a formal dispute.
Of the two biggest areas of membership, DWP and HMRC, the result is mixed, to say the least. DWP scraped over the 50% threshold, and HMRC managed a turnout of just over 47%. The result in HMRC was complicated by the 3-year pay deal currently in place. There will be an attempt to re-ballot HMRC in early 2023.
Not only is this a crucial ballot that must be won, but it is also important that a campaign be waged in DWP to ensure that the membership supports any action.
In addressing all members on the ballot result, Mark Serwotka, General Secretary , explained that the union is preparing for a long struggle and that the tactic will be selective action in key areas, if necessary, over a period of several months.
During the ballot period, my own branch saw an increase in union membership, but more importantly, a new layer of young activists became involved in the union, which was critical in getting the vote out.
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