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McCANNGATE

 

EAST KERBSIDE MAN AND A YORKSHIREMAN CLAIM "VINDICATION"

an occasional round-up of events
by Barrabas

THE HISTORY...

Conference 93
Mr. McCANN has the important task of operating the speaker's lights at the rostrum, now governed by MARION'S diktat that as soon as the time is up and the RED light comes on, the microphone is turned off. Unfortunately, the idiot switched on the now obsolete YELLOW, while RAMSBLADDER was speaking. So fearful was he of switching off his master in full stream that he let the GREAT SCOT ramble on for a further two minutes.

Conference 94
"When Barry was going on about the number of women he'd appointed, I thought `Oh no - he's going to make me wear the false tits again'!" - Mick McCann

The HIGHCLIFF, which has also served as temporary PFLCPSA field HQ this week, glittered like a galaxy in the night. The only unpleasant scene was altercation between Assistant General Secretary McCANN and some senior officers of the Revolutionary Command Council, who were insisting that BARRY pick up the tab for their booze in the usual way. McCANN, who is second in line of succession, said that this won't happen when he's boss - though how expects to get there without our favours remains unanswered.

Conference 95
Scotland's own, DONNY McINTYRE proved his worth earlier in the year at the YARD OF ALE competition sponsored by FALCONCREST'S finest son, the publican of the Falcon just outside CPSA HQ in London. There were only three contestants, fellow Caledonian and Apprentice General Secretary MICK McCANN a regular and DONNY himself. McCANN took 3.19 minutes to sink the Caffreys. The regular took 39 seconds. While both of them were being sick, DONNY stripped to the waist and guzzled the yard in 23 seconds. He explained that he could have done it quicker but had already downed 10 pints before he got there, and moaned that he was now so full he'd have to go on shorts until closing time. BOYLE'S gluttony knows no bounds.

Earlier in the year he was going back up to Scotland with McCANN after an NEC meeting and so they decided to tank up with a litre of whiskey, a crate of beer and a Sainsbury's food hamper. As the train pulled out McCANN went for piss. By the time he'd come back BOYLE had devoured the hampers entire contents leaving MICK to fork out £20 on BR sandwiches.

Conference 96
McCANN and LEITCH flew back to Scotland recently after the NEC. They got shitfaced after the NEC, left the pub at 18.30hrs to get a few in at the departure lounge. After half a dozen Veras our Caledonian quaffers were creating arguments with other passengers at the check-in. On the plane McCANN kept falling forward and banging his head on the seat in front. They were both ejected from their seats and sent to sit at the back of the plane. LEITCH ordered a drink and was told that the flight crew had orders not serve either of them alcohol. On arrival LEITCH ordered a cab to MCCANN'S mansion, dropped the comatose SCOTTISH OFFICER off and dashed off at great speed in search of further liver damage before closing time.

Earlier in the day I decided to pay a visit to the top table to see what my elders and betters were up to. What should I hear but WILLIAMSON calling McCANN a liar. McCANN advised DANNY to stop drinking and was wittily told to "Fuck off, you wanker". MICK's riposte: "Too many doubles last night, Danny?" enraged his fellow Scot who then invited him to "step outside". McCANN then advised WILLIAMSON to "Fuck off" and DANNY then told MARION to "Get this wanker off my back". All of this took place during the violence at work debate. (Thurs 96)

"Fuck off and crawl up your bosses arse!" Williamson
"I can't. There's no room. Boyle is already up there." McCann

It was amusing to hear STELLA DENNIS tell McCann "I don't know why I'm talking to you as I really hate your guts". Everybody does.

Conference 97
BOYLE, McCANN and PATTERSON and the rest of the Clan, plus Sir ROY, spend most of the day in the CPSA PRESS ROOM consuming vast quantities of alcohol from the hospitality bar. The only journalists allowed in are from The Mail on Sunday, The New Worker and The Morning Star, as the TROT rags have all been barred by SKIPPY, so there's plenty to spare.

June 98
MICK McCANT, hereditary chieftain of the PCS Scottish clan remains unchanged by the merger. PETER DONNELLAN reports that he recently met the lad for the first time: "Not an auspicious meeting. he was sick in the ashtray!"

Conference 98
STUART CURRIE caused a degree of concern amongst colleagues in the Benefits Agency. Having finally been elected to a position of Organiser for the GEC, he promptly transferred to the Scottish Office where he suddenly turned up as Group President. We understand that this stitch-up involved the Scottish Officer MICHAEL McCANN. Poor old JOE COX is reported to be furious.

December 98
The Left in Scotland are in a mess. Their full-time stalwarts PAT "Mr Invisible" KELLY (soon to be redundant, in any case) and ALBIE O'NEILL are having to deal with mass resignations of members in the Museums and Libraries of Scotland who are complaining about PCS imposing pay deals on them. A recent ballot at the National Library of Scotland saw a vote to accept a previously unacceptable pay deal carried by the membership 18 - 13 after Mr O'NEILL had declared a large number of NO votes inadmissible because members had crossed out the ballot number. Such is their suspicion of the union Scottish full-time cadre that members thought that HQ was keeping a list of NO voters to weed out at some stage... 20 members have resigned and are considering setting up a branch of UNISON.

Questions need to be asked about the appointment of EDDIE REILLY to the freshly created post of PCS Scottish Officer. Conveniently graded to exclude the natural candidate for the job MICHAEL McCANN, who is current Scottish Officer, this really does smack of jobs for the boys. McCANN was never a candidate - nor was anybody else - because the job was not advertised. This is also a bone of contention with other full-timers who, seeing no prospect of suitable vacancies post-merger, opted for redundancy. As of course did REILLY, who even went to the length of taking out a loan, believed to be in the region of £11,000, against his redundancy pay-off .

So what is the forum for answers? Logic dictates that it should be the NEC, which met last week and decided on the appointment. However, it is too much to expect them to behave as adults, particularly when the leading faction (ME 1st) is determined to have its placeman (A Tankie) and the "opposition" (Moderati) are equally determined that either their blue-eyed boy gets the job or it's advertised. A previous NEC had asked BARRY to look into appointing REILLY to the new post, but he had refused. Apparently PETER DONELLAN told him it was his last chance and a further refusal to carry out NEC instructions would be deemed a breach of contract...

A formal motion on the appointment of REILLY was put to the NEC, opposed by BARRY but supported by SHELDON. Though after 17 minutes of vitriolic attack, RAMSBLADDER seemed to have alienated some of his supporters. Before the vote was taken, MARION and the Moderati walked out, anticipating a loss of quorum for the meeting. The tactic failed when 2 "independants" and DEM LEFT stooge MARK MURPHY from Chessington declined to walk, thus, although they did not vote in favour of the motion, they legitimised the vote just by being there. And that is how the post was created and filled over McCANN's head.

MURPHY,although scheduled to walk out, didn't because he said he couldn't see the point. Perhaps he will see the point when the Moderati whip the rug from under his feet at the next election. LEO BRIGHTLEY who is supposed to be in charge of the DIM LEFT on the NEC will have some explaining to do to his Moderati paymasters (again) about his insubordinate lad. McCANN is not inconsiderably upset and is threatening to consult m'learned friends.

February 99
The great MODERATI walkout was not specifically planned around the decision to appoint REILLY but was planned to coincide with the debate about compensating the government for the special leave taken by senior officials (CHAMBERS), which was supposed to precede it. The rather serious cock-up in correctly calculating a quorum did not take into account that whilst young Mark MURPHY could be relied on to rally to MARION, he doesn't give a shit about RAMSBLADDER. Rumours of him having been plied with promises by ME1st prove unfounded, as we all know that they have no influence in the Clerical Constituency. It was of course an appalling coincidence that the person taking the telephone apologies for non-attendance at the NEC, and therefore in pole position to judge the quorum status of the meeting was BARRY.

So,why did the GREAT SCOT pull the trapdoor so soon? He knew that under threat of the sack, he couldn't put off a decision about REILLY indefinitely, but how long is indefinitely? Well, until the February NEC would have done nicely because by that time EDDIES early retirement package would be sorted, and that would have made it much more difficult for ME1st to railroad their "decision" through. And why are ME1st supporting a TANKIE for the post? Apparently they're a sentimental lot, and on hearing that a long serving (executive constituency) official was having to take an early bath to return to his bonny lass and we'ans in the country of the brave, decided to see him alright, and sod the current (clerical constituency) incumbent.

We are assured that the fact that REILLY and Peter DONNELLAN are drinking buddies has no relevance to any decisions past, present or future. About anything. At all.

McCANN meanwhile fumes on. It seems there's not much he can do except grin and bear it - he hasn't exactly endeared himself to DONNELLAN - at their introductory meeting McCANN threw up in the ashtray. Taking PCS to anEmployment Tribunal (post CROTUM) would probably result in a pay-off of £15K and no prospect of a similar sinecure anywhere else. Ever.

Legal challenges by MICK aside, perhaps the ordinary member might enquire why a superfluous post has been created at a level outside the provisions of the rule book, which allows for the post of Scottish Officer at Assistant Secretary level only. This matter and the functions of the new post are obviously exercising minds immeasurably greater than ours because REILLY has not yet received a posting date and when approached by PFLCPSA Agents on the subject tapped the side of his nose, adding mysteriously "Wait and see..".

July 99
McCanngate continues to exercise the great minds at HQ. Marion and Curries' rant to The Scotsman denouncing RED fanatic Reilly so infuriated the Tufty Club on the NEC that they attempted to pass a censure motion on the pair for bringing the Union into disrepute. Our heroes were excluded from the room for the debate, but allowed back in to vote - which we think is only fair. The motion went down the Swanee by a not inconsiderable margin - the process of kicking has-beens seeming to have died with CPSA - and Currie took the opportunity to confirm with El Presidente that whistleblowing was now OK.

That being said, the latest half page spread in the Scotsman (7/7/99) puffing McCann and slagging off Reilly is attributed to "one union source" but does at least convey an approximation of the real story (see Judas passim).

McCanny is suing under Scottish Law, claiming £150,000 (3 tanker loads of lager, should last till the millennium) in the Court of Sessions, and is also taking the union to an IT. Barry is quoted as saying, "We will be vigorously defending the executive's view that his contract has not been breached." Using his corporate mask in this way allows the great man to keep his true feelings in check.

Sheldon, the alternative GS, thinks it's all a storm in a teacup - after all, wasn't Reilly his DGS for 8 years - and endearingly, doesn't believe that politics has anything to do with it. The Scotsman drones on about this "potentially damaging internal dispute, affecting the highest echelons of the union" without elaboration other than to point up traditional rivalry between Glasgow (McCann) and Edinburgh (Reilly), but the situation does hide some delicious side effects.

Current President Peter Donnellan always made it clear that he was only going to do a single term cos it would otherwise interfere with his chosen career of overpaid MANDARIN. He is now qualifying this by saying he will make the ultimate sacrifice and stay on (surely, "stand for re-election, ed) if the Union is engaged fighting any Court case at the time.

September 99
In McCanngate both sides are now firmly entrenched. Both sides are confident of winning. The arguments now are centered around who has the best legal team, with PCS divulging that their chief brief is the best in Scotland but they fear he may be appointed a judge before the ET in November. Perhaps one of you ordinary members might care to enquire how much this fiasco is costing you. When you go to court, everybody is made to look ridiculous and only the lawyers win. Fat Cat lawyers a) do not come cheap and b) are not usually known for their empathy with Trade Unionism, although they have adopted some of the more archaic practices, such as the "closed shop". Justice may be beyond price, but only when someone else is paying. When the smoke finally clears, all parties should watch their backs up in Scotland: Jazza wants to return!

February 00
McCANNY may be in his darkest hour, but he is keen that his supporters understand that he is scraping by despite ME1st's back-stabbing; he boasts proudly of earning more moolah now than ever, due to having the spare time to pick up his £6k council attendance allowances on top of the £32k members pay him for cleaning REILLY's shoes. Finally in February, we find our man in front of his tribunal, as described by his local newspaper, the East Kerbside Screech - or somesuch - under the banner headline "Councillor in wrangle over top union job" the text of which is reprinted, with the usual Victory Internet Solutions©®T permission having been sought:

An East Kilbride councillor is at the centre of a legal battle with his trade union employers. Councillor Michael McCann has taken the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) to an industrial tribunal, claiming they unfairly dismissed him from his top-level post.

Once the tribunal ends, Councillor McCann also plans to raise a civil action through the Court of Session in Edinburgh, suing the union for £150,000 to cover the loss of earnings and status he is suffering as a result of the loss of his job.

However, last week after the tribunal hearing had lasted four days, three of which Councillor McCann spent in the witness box, it was adjourned until October due to pressure of business.

Councillor McCann, whose action has the support of many members of the PCS and of his own trade union, the General, Municipal and Boilermakers Union started his legal battle after he was demoted from the post of Scottish secretary of the union to that of depute.

During his evidence to the tribunal in Glasgow last week, Labour Councillor McCann who was elected to represent the Mossneuk /Kittoch ward on South Lanarkshire Council in May last year, outlined how he had worked as Scottish secretary with the Civil and Public Services Association from 1992 until they merged with the Public Services Tax and Commerce Union (PTC) in I998 and became the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

He was then joint Scottish secretary with his counterpart in the PTC until the latter opted for retirement, leaving Councillor McCann as top Scottish official for the merged union.

However in December 1998, the national executive of the new union decided to appoint their deputy general secretary to the post of Scottish secretary and to demote Councillor McCann to the post of his depute, a moves which resulted in almost half the national executive walking out.

The move was fiercely contested by Mr McCann. Mr McCann told the tribunal last week that he had continued to fulfil his duties as Scottish secretary until June 1, last year. These duties had entailed him in working to help set up the Scottish Parliament.

Although there was no question about Mr McCann's abilities to carry out the job, on June 1, Mr McCann said he was ordered to carry out more mundane and less testing duties with a considerable loss in status and prestige.

His demotion to depute also cost him an expected rise in salary of around £6000 a year and led to considerable protest by union members and officials.

He had also lodged a claim for unfair dismissal, a claim the union emphatically deny. It is this claim which is being heard by the tribunal.

Although unwilling to comment on his claim while the tribunal is on going, Councillor McCann told the News: "The action I have taken is more in sorrow than in anger. All I want is my job back."

There was also a crap unscannable picture from the same august publication which captioned it "Sorrow - Councillor Michael McCann".

So, McCanngate drags on - the loquacious Caledonian oaf droned for 3 days before the tribunal chair gave up in despair and adjourned proceedings til October, thus ensuring the whole affair can form a suitably poisonous backdrop to Conference. Afterwards, McCANNY took out an onion before telling reporters he had taken the case "more in sorrow than in anger" and that he wasn't interested in the money - he "just wanted his job back". McCANNY studies porcine aviation in his, still considerable, spare time.

Meanwhile, can there be any truth in rumours that a whole host of BARRY's BOYS have taken out similar cases?? Can JAYSON SLOSH and the PORTLY PAUL SMITH really be following McCANNY's example and suing PCS for loss of earnings, status et al? "Barry promised me SNO status in the pub one night, so where is it you bastards?", being the gist of the alleged cases?

I think we should be told...How much has this cost the members so far? How much is it likely to cost?

May 01- THE FINALE?

An industrial tribunal ruled Michael McCann had not been unfairly dismissed from his top post with the Public and Commercial Services Union.

The Mossneuk/Kittoch councillor had raised the action with the Glasgow employment tribunal claiming he had lost status and earnings following demotion from Scottish secretary to deputy Scottish secretary of the PCS union.

But the tribunal ruled the creation of a new senior post of PCS Scottish secretary, based in Edinburgh, and the appointment of the PCS's deputy general secretary Eddie Reilly to that post, had not breached Mr McCann's contract.

However, in their ruling, the tribunal conceded that, despite a denial by PCS witnesses, they had no doubt the appointment of Mr Reilly had been made in the best interests of Mr Reilly and not necessarily in the best interests of the PCS or its members.

This week both the PCS union president Peter Donnellan and Mr McCann, who is election agent for Labour candidate Adam Ingram in the forthcoming General Election, claimed they had been vindicated.

Said Mr Donnellan: "I am delighted at this vindication of the union's position. I was always confident we were acting totally lawfully throughout and this has now been confirmed. It is deeply regrettable this misguided legal action was ever taken." Mr McCann, who continues as the PCS's deputy Scottish secretary based in Glasgow, said he also felt vindicated and indeed had been advised an appeal against the ruling was very likely to succeed.

Said Mr McCann: "The decision to pursue my case to an employment tribunal was the most difficult decision of my trade union life but I had no other option.

"I feel my decision has been vindicated by the tribunal findings which stated `despite the denial by (PCS) witnesses, we have no doubt the allocation to Mr Reilly of the post of Scottish Secretary was made in the best interests of Mr Reilly and not necessarily in the best interests of the PCS or its members'.

"I am legally advised I have strong grounds to appeal this decision. However, this would inevitably mean further washing of PCS's dirty linen in public. This I do not want and I will therefore decline to appeal this decision." Mr McCann worked with the Civil and Public Services Association from 1992 until it merged with the Public Services Tax and Commerce Union (PTC) in 1998 to become the PCS. He was then joint Scottish secretary with his counterpart in the PTC until the latter opted for retirement, leaving Mr McCann as top Scottish official.

However, the national executive of the PCS decided to appoint their deputy general secretary to the post of Scottish secretary and to demote Mr McCann.

That's what the local paper said. McCanny is now flavour of the month with his bank manager in exchange for no further laundry expeditions. Anyway, he hasn't got any friends left since his mentor Barry decided to spend more time with his golf clubs. McCann also joins that elite band (SKIPPY) of PCS workers who have "lost" an ET against the employer. Next time, take 'em to Court for incompetence or blatant nepotism.

The Union as an employer is useless and riven with Snout in Trough disease and has adopted all the worst practices and excesses of its predecessor unions. It's about time Serwotka started sweeping away the detritus, but he hasn't got any political muscle because his lefty mates all want to do their own thing, and they can't control him, nor he them.

barrabas