Dispute update: DTR activists meet MEP
Following the lessons learned from the Make Your Vote Count campaign and recognition of the importance of getting our messages heard by politicians, activists from the MoD instructional officers committee met MEP Jill Evans to discuss ongoing concerns over the defence training review.
As well as being an MEP, Jill is also vice chair of Plaid Cymru so this was an important first for the instructional officers. Representing PCS at the meeting were negotiations officer Paul Bemrose, Roy Weston, chair of the St Athans branch, and H O'Harney, branch secretary at Cosford.
H said: “The purpose of the meeting was to highlight the blatant distortion being expressed by a number of Welsh MPs as to the number of new jobs being created in south Wales as part of this multi billion pounds private finance deal.”
During the two-hour meeting activists explained that the thousands of new high skill jobs promised by Welsh MPs were a fallacy because existing civil servants were already employed in them. This means that only low paid and low skilled jobs would be on offer.
As part of the programme, some 1,100 civil servants have been identified as being likely to be transferred across to a private consortium called Metrix. Yet the Welsh Assembly had frequently gone on record as stating that somewhere in the region of 6,000 new jobs were being created.
The involvement of companies whose motives are to generate profits for shareholders was also discussed, as was the issue of privatisation. Mrs Evans pointed out that Plaid Cymru had concerns about the DTR programme but wanted an honest and open debate about the key issues.
It was agreed that we would maintain contact and a meeting be arranged between Plaid Cymru MPs and PCS reps to discuss the issues raised in more detail.
H added: “Campaigning now needs to be multi-faceted. Yes it is important to get members and the public on your side but equally important is getting your message heard by all the political parties who are involved.
“They are usually keen to meet you since many of them will have only heard one side of the story from the department or management. We expect to get many more such meetings in the months ahead."
DTR = Defence Traing Review