PCS executive announces series of strikes and vows to work with other unions to protect pay, pensions and public services

Tim Lezard

A series of walkouts and protests by almost a quarter of a million civil and public servants will start with a strike on budget day on 20 March, the PCS has announced.

This will be followed by other national and sector-specific strikes and industrial action as the union steps up its opposition to cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions.

The union has asked for talks on the key issues affecting the lives of civil servants and the services they are able to provide to the public, but the government has refused to negotiate.

Meeting today, the union’s national executive committee (NEC) agreed:

– Three-month programme of action to start with an all-day strike on 20 March to coincide with the chancellor George Osborne’s budget

– Further national all-member and sector-specific strikes of varying durations, with dates to be announced at a later date

– Other forms of disruptive industrial action short of a strike both nationally and in employer groups

– Strike days to be interspersed with protests and campaigning activities around specific themes, with details to be announced at a later date

– The union will continue to seek the widest possible co-ordination with other unions on pay and pensions.

Senior representatives and officials will meet weekly during the campaign to track progress and decide tactics. Any decisions on a second phase will be taken after the union’s annual conference in mid-May.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is not a one-day protest, this is the start of a rolling programme of walkouts and disruptive action to put pressure on a government that is refusing to talk to us.

“Civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the services we all rely on but, instead of rewarding them, the government is imposing cuts to their pay, raiding their pensions and trying to rip up their basic working conditions.

“We warned more than two years ago that austerity wouldn’t work and we were right. There is an alternative to cutting the living standards of hard-working public servants and our campaign is designed to make the case loud and clear.”

 


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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