26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: ‘Cuts have consequences’ — union strike call

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The powerful United Kingdom Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union is pushing forward with plans to strike over pay, pensions and redundancy terms.

A ballot is to be held in September on whether to go on strike over the Government’s “derisory” offer of a two per cent pay rise this year, as well as concerns over the Civil Service Compensation Scheme and a “pension robbery”.

Also likely to be on the ballot is the Government’s recent stated intention to axe 91,000 jobs — one fifth of the total Public Service workforce.

General Secretary of the PCS, Mark Serwotka said Public Servants had “had enough”.

“The Government has left us no option other than to call for strike action because that is the only language they understand,” Mr Serwotka (pictured) said.

“The Government must know cuts have consequences, not just for our members, but for everyone who relies on the services they provide.”

He said the Government had also signalled its intention to launch a fresh assault on the terms of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme with the aim of reducing redundancy pay-outs resulting from its job cuts.

However, the Government appears ready for a fight, stating Ministers must take into account the risk of stoking inflation when deciding this year’s pay awards.

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson, “the Prime Minister said the public are understandably anxious about global cost-of-living pressures and that the Government will continue to support those most in need”.

“The Government has already pledged to increase public sector spending and is awaiting decisions by public sector review bodies,” the spokesperson said.

“However, [at a Cabinet meeting] Ministers made clear that the risk of triggering higher inflation must be part of considerations when deciding pay awards this year,” they said.

London, 28 May 2022

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