Union executive members support plans for mass walk-out on November 30th


Tens of thousands of PCS members are being urged to take Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude at his word by staging 15-minute protests against plans to rip up working conditions in the civil service and related organisations.

Lunchtime demonstrations will be co-ordinated at workplaces across the country on November 30th in opposition to a government ‘review’ of all existing terms and conditions, including hours and holidays, and family-friendly policies such as flexible and part-time working.

The protest also concerns the public sector pay freeze, the increase in monthly pensions contributions and, after this Tory-led government slashed more than 60,000 civil service jobs in its first two years in office, the tens of thousands more still planned.

Last year when unions were striking over pensions, Maude suggested members could walk out for 15 minutes to “get their point across without losing pay”.

Where lunchtime protests and rallies can not be held, PCS members are being urged to hold demonstrations before work or workplace meetings. Last month, 200 PCS members left their DWP offices in Coventry when Maude arrived.

The decision to hold these events was taken at yesterday’s meeting of the union’s national executive committee, which also agreed to continue to pursue a joint campaign with other unions on pensions and pay.

It also agreed that the next NEC meeting in December will consider a timetable for a fresh industrial action ballot in the new year.

While the fight over pensions and the contribution increases will continue, the ballot will be designed to include opposition to the terms and conditions review and strengthen the union’s campaigning focus on pay and living standards.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Cuts to jobs, pay and pensions are all part of a political smash and grab on our public services, and are inextricably linked to the latest threat to working conditions.

“We will continue to work with other unions to take action together where we can but we will also be stepping up action in the civil service, including taking Francis Maude at his word with 15-minute protests and demonstrations the length and breadth of the country.”

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