PCS president, Janice Godrich says she believes May 10th strike by PCS and Unite will be ‘a turning point’ in campaign to resist further pensions cuts


PCS president, Janice Godrich (pictured, far right, with PCS and Unite delegates from STUC conference) says she believes the strike next month by civil servants and Unite health workers will be ‘a turning point’ which could bring other unions ‘back on board’ in the campaign to resist further erosion of public sector pensions.

She was speaking as PCS and Unite staged a protest outside the constituency office in Inverness of the Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, who is regarded as a leading advocate in the Coalition of cuts to public sector pensions.

His office is close to the venue of the STUC annual conference, which is taking place in the city this week.

Speaking after the protest, she told UnionNews: “We are seeking to build the maximum unity among public sector workers that wanted to continue and carry on the fight over public sector pensions.

“We’re absolutely determined – particularly as, at the end of this month, many of our members will see for the first time the level of pension contributions they will need to make and we think that will really be a galvanising point in terms of them supporting our action on the 10th of May.”

Asked if there was now a prospect of the 10th May unions striking together with others – such as the NUT and UCU – which have already taken a limited second round of strike action over pesnions, Janice Godrich said: “I certainly hope there is.

“PCS is committed to trying to build that unity in whatever way we can.

“A number of unions have recently held conferences which have reinforced their policies to carry on taking action and we hope that by seeing the effect of the action on 10th of May, that will be a turning point and other unions will decide to come on board with us again.”

PCS national executive has already agreed:

• To take part in a national strike on 10th May with other unions
• To call further national coordinated action coordinated at the end of June
• That regional protests and rallies are organised for 10 May with other unions and campaigning organisations
• To encourage PCS groups to make early contact with the NDC to discuss how group industrial issues are taken forward in the context of the national campaign strategy
• To call action short of a strike including an overtime ban from 11 May until the end of June.

Officials says they are also working with UNITE, the NUT and other organisations to launch a public campaign over the changes to the state pension age, called “68 is too late”.

The aim is to raise awareness about the changes to state pension age and to campaign stop the planned increases, and the Coalition’s plans  to link between the state retirement and public sector pension age.

You can watch our film report of the protest and further coverage of the STUC conference here:

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