PCS

Public & Commercial Services Union - trade union for civil servants

Civil servants under attack

Author: 

A civil servant

Fundamental attacks on civil service workers are coming thick and fast. We are entering a very different period compared to anything that has gone before.

A two-year public sector pay freeze for everybody except those earning less than £21,000 has a concession to the latter of a pay rise of “at least” £250. But no-one in our union, the PCS, is expecting many such members, if any, to get more than the stipulated sum and that will represent an increase significantly below the rate of inflation.

Fundamental attacks on civil service workers are coming thick and fast. We are entering a very different period compared to anything that has gone before.

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Why would socialists oppose union leaders getting only a worker's wage?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

At this year's PCS civil service union conference, the Department of Communities and Local Government HQ and Department of Work and Pensions East London branches proposed the following motion:

At this year's PCS conference, the socialist-dominated executive opposed a motion seeking to reduce full-time officers' pay to something much closer to members'. Why?

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Civil service union attacks Jobcentre staff cuts

Author: 

Matthew Thompson

The civil service union PCS has attacked the announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions to cut 8,000 staff working in Jobcentres.

In a press release, the union points out that the staff involved who are on fixed-term contracts were only hired last year with unemployment rising and as a direct result of the decision by Gordon Brown as Chancellor to slash 100,000 civil service jobs, including 30,000 in DWP.

The civil service union PCS has attacked the announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions to cut 8,000 staff working in Jobcentres.

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"Public sector alliance" is not the whole answer

The conference in May of the civil service workers' union PCS resolved on "a major call for joint action amongst public sector unions".

There are two problems with making this call "the answer" to cuts.

First, it cuts against more confident or militant unions taking action ahead of the rest.

Some battles can be won by sectional action. And united trade-union action is more likely to start by some unions giving a lead than by waiting until everyone is lined up to make the first step forward in perfect harmony.

The slogan "public sector alliance" has limitations as an answer to the cuts.

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National Gallery workers take action for living wage

Author: 

A PCS activist and Gallery Worker

A joint two-hour walkout was staged by PCS members working in the National Gallery and the National Gallery Company (a “front” retail company at the Gallery) in a protest over poverty pay on Thursday 13 May.

Gallery warders had previously voted overwhelmingly to reject a 2009 pay offer which does not even guarantee the London Living Wage (currently £7.60). Most workers are earning just below £15k, and this current action marks the continuation of an effective series of short walkouts which have temporarily closed most of the galleries in recent months.

A two-hour walkout was staged by PCS members working at the National Gallery on 13 May in a protest over poverty pay.

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PCS dodges issues on cuts and equality

Author: 

A civil servant

PCS, by far the largest civil service trade union, met in conference in mid May, as the Tory-Liberal coalition was drawing up its year-on-year slash-and-burn plans for the public sector: huge reductions in jobs and services; privatisation; cuts in real wages; further attacks on pensions and severance terms.

Conference got through a record number of motions and was a credit to delegates. Yet only a delegate with rose-tinted glasses would have returned home with the belief that the current PCS leadership is geared up to meet the enormous challenges facing PCS members.

PCS conference in mid-May 2010 dodged some key issues.

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National Gallery workers fight low pay

Author: 

Ed Maltby

On Thursday 13th of May, PCS members at the National Gallery and the National Gallery shop went on a 2-hour walkout against low pay. This was not the first time that National Gallery staff had taken action against the employer, who is paying 60p an hour less than the London Living Wage - but it was the first time that staff at the National Gallery shop had taken action. The gallery was brought to a virtual standstill when around 70 staff walked out.

Workers at the National Gallery, organised in the PCS, have struck against low pay.

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PCS Conference: leaders must practice what they preach

Author: 

A civil servant

Under a Lib Dem-Tory coalition, we know that members of the Public and Commercial Services Union will be attacked even more viciously than we were under New Labour; indeed the whole of the public sector will be. It is against this background that the PCS will hold its national conference between 17 and 19 May.

The Socialist Party dominates PCS and a growing number of their members now work for the union. The SP’s formal position is that full-time officials should be on a worker’s wage; in reality the SP in PCS has not carried out this policy.

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Civil Service strike: full rights for all!

Author: 

A civil servant

On Budget Day, 24 March, the civil service union PCS took a third day of strike action over detrimental changes to redundancy and early retirement rights.

Overall this strike seems to have been more solidly supported than a two-day strike on the 8 and 9 May.

Despite the Government’s call to the RMT and Unite unions that they must get around the negotiating table to solve their disputes (with Network Rail and British Airways) they are not following their own advice over our dispute, and have refused further talks.

The dispute over redundancy and early retirement rights in the civil service is only a prelude to a much bigger fight over jobs and pensions and there are still lessons that need to be learnt: selective action and raising strike funds though a levy are just two important points that have yet to be taken on board by the leadership of PCS.

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The Budget: recycling old and useless remedies

Author: 

John Moloney

In the 24 March budget Chancellor Alistair Darling announced the first tranches of cuts to the public sector. But he did this by saying he wanted to save hundreds of millions of pounds through “improving efficiency”. What does this mean?

As with so many New Labour announcements, this efficiency drive recycled elements from previous initiatives.

In essence the budged offered nothing new. Except that by putting it all in the budget the Government is investing more political capital into delivering cuts.

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Yarls Wood solidarity: close all detention centres!

Author: 

Elaine Jones

On 10 March, Merseyside activists organised a protest outside the UK Border Agency in Liverpool to show solidarity with the women who were then on hunger strike at Yarls Wood detention centre near Bedford and to demand the closing of the detention centres, an end to deportations and the scrapping of immigration controls.

On 10 March, Merseyside activists organised a protest outside the UK Border Agency in Liverpool to show solidarity with the women who were then on hunger strike at Yarls Wood detention centre near Bedford and to demand the closing of the detention centres, an end to deportations and the scrapping of immigration controls.

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PCS severance dispute: all out on Budget Day, the same deal for all!

Author: 

A civil servant

On 8-9 March the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) took strike action on 8-9 March over the Government’s proposals to reduce redundancy and early retirement payouts civil servants (proposals which come into force on the 1 April). The national union reports well over 100,000 members took action on each day.

PCS should fight for an end to the two-tier work force - for all members to have the same pension and severance-pay rights.

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PCS to strike again on 24 March

The civil service workers' union PCS will strike again, over severance terms, on 24 March.

Further strike action was announced at the rally in London on the second day of PCS's two-day strike on the issue on 8-9 March.

The initial announcement was a strike on 19 March, but we understand that the actual date is more likely to be Budget Day, 24 March.

The civil service workers' union PCS will strike again, over severance terms, on 24 March.

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Civil Service strike: all out to defend terms and conditions!

Author: 

A Civil Servant

Members of the civil service union PCS have voted decisively to take industrial action over redundancy and early retirement terms. National strikes will take place on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 March.

The union has focused mainly on the adverse changes proposed to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS). But we mustn’t forget that tens of thousands of staff, members of the inferior Nuvos pension scheme, are only entitled to statutory minimum redundancy payments. This dispute is also about eliminating the two tiers of redundancy terms, and levelling up.

Members of the civil service union PCS have voted decisively to take industrial action over redundancy and early retirement terms. National strikes will take place on Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 March.

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Civil Service Compensation Scheme: vote for strike action!

Author: 

A civil servant

The civil service union PCS has announced that it is continuing to ballot its members over strike action, despite the announcement by the Cabinet Office that five unions have agreed to changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS). The ballot, which is scheduled to close on February 25, is covering around a quarter of a million civil service workers across all sectors, including Jobcentre staff, tax workers, court staff and driving examiners.

The civil service union PCS is balloting its members for strike action over changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme that would remove rights from younger workers and reduce the amount of money available to those made redundant by up to a third, thus allowing the employer to cut thousands of jobs on the cheap.

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Strikes promised to fight civil service cuts

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) leader Mark Serwotka has promised a strike campaign in the run-up to the general election aimed at causing “the most disruption possible” to the government.

PCS is balloting its entire membership on rolling action to oppose moves by the government to reduce civil servants'
redundancy payments by up to a third. For some low-paid workers, this could mean losing out on up to £20,000, and
the union argues that the move is the thin end of a wedge that will lead to massive job cuts.

The Public and Commercial Services Union is balloting its entire membership on rolling action to oppose moves by the government to reduce civil servants'redundancy payments by up to a third. For some low-paid workers, this could mean losing out on up to £20,000, which PCS argues is the thin end of a wedge that will lead to massive job cuts.

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Civil service union election: vote Mark Serwotka but...

Author: 

A PCS member

The election for the General Secretary (GS) of the civil service union PCS has begun. AWL members in the PCS are recommending a vote for Mark Serwotka, the present incumbent. Our recommendation for such a vote is not because we are not uncritical of him; on the contrary.

The election for General Secretary of the civil service union PCS has begun. AWL members are recommending a vote for the incumbent, Mark Serwotka. Not because we are not uncritical of him; on the contrary.

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Vote Serwotka, but...

Author: 

An AWL member in the PCS

The election for the PCS General Secretary (GS) position has begun, and AWL members in the PCS are recommending that members vote for Mark Serwotka, the present incumbent.

AWL members in the PCS union are voting Mark Serwotka for General Secretary - but with criticisms.

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Fight the public pay freeze!

Author: 

A civil servant

On 6 October Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, announced that he was writing to the public sector salary review bodies calling on them to “freeze the pay of 40,000 senior public servants in 2010-11. And he recommended that about 700,000 middle-ranking public servants, including doctors, dentists and prison officers, get a rise of between 0 per cent and 1 per cent”.

Later the same day shadow Chancellor George Osborne announced the Tories' pay freeze. In 2011 he wants all public sector workers, except for those earning less than £18,000 a year, to have their pay frozen.

The pay freeze plans mean that in the run-up to an election both Darling and Osborne want to seem "tough" on the Government's budget deficit, and are happy about making public sector workers bear the brunt of that "toughness".

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Organising in the IT industry: Fujitsu ballot on pay, jobs, pensions

Author: 

Ian Allinson, Chair, unite Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, spoke to Solidarity
UNITE and PCS are about to start a statutory ballot on jobs, pay and pensions. The anti-union laws make organising a ballot really difficult, especially when members are scattered across so many sites, but in the meantime, many more staff have joined the unions.

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Re-elect Mark Serwotka, but...

Serwotka

Author: 

A civil servant

Nominations for the post of General Secretary of the PCS civil service union has begun. Currently only two candidates are contesting the election; right winger Rob Bryson and the present incumbent, Mark Serwotka.

Re-elect Mark Serwotka as general secretary of the PCS union - but demand he keeps his promises from his 2000 campaign

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New anti-fascist push in Sheffield

Author: 

Sheffield Workers’ Liberty

Over 30 people — mainly local workers but also some school and university students — attended a meeting on 2 July called by the Sheffield Department for Work and Pensions branch of the PCS trade union to discuss working-class anti-fascist campaigning.

Over 30 people — mainly local workers but also some school and university students — attended a meeting on 2 July called by the Sheffield Department for Work and Pensions branch of the PCS trade union to discuss working-class anti-fascist campaigning.

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Cuts battles will shape an epoch to come

If the Government puts out £1100 billion in cash, credit, and guarantees to the banks, as it has done, then someone is going to foot the bill. On current plans, both Tory and New Labour, it is public services and public service workers.

A lot of the £1100 billion has been guarantees given on the principle that, if the guarantees are in place, they will never be called on. But a lot is actual loans or actual cash, to buy shares in the banks.

If the Government puts out £1100 billion in cash, credit, and guarantees to the banks, as it has done, then someone is going to foot the bill. On current plans, both Tory and New Labour, it is public services and public service workers.

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Union News in Brief, UNITE, PCS, CWU and NUT

Author: 

Camila Bassi

UNITE: You might think the leaders of a union whose members occupied the Visteon factories and took wildcat strike action in engineering construction would be pre-occupied with struggle.

You might think the leaders of a union whose members occupied the Visteon factories and took wildcat strike action in engineering construction would be pre-occupied with struggle.

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John Moloney runs incumbent close in PCS Deputy General Secretary election

John Moloney
John Moloney, an AWL member, won 11,547 votes in the PCS Deputy General Secretary election, and so was only narrowly beaten by Hugh Lanning with 13,755.

John Moloney, an AWL member, won 11,547 votes in the PCS Deputy General Secretary election, and so was only narrowly beaten by Hugh Lanning with 13,755. It was a very high vote for John Moloney considering that he was backed only by the small Independent Left group within the union, while Lanning was backed by all the other groups which took a position, from the mainstream right over to the Socialist Party and SWP.

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Vote John Moloney for PCS Deputy General Secretary

The coming election for Deputy General Secretary of the civil service union PCS will be a choice between the old centre-right of the union and a candidate, AWL member John Moloney, backed by the Independent Left.

The PCS union “machine”, though on paper left wing — dominated by the Socialist Party — will be backing the centre-right candidate, Hugh Lanning.

The coming election for Deputy General Secretary of the civil service union PCS will be a choice between the old centre-right of the union and a candidate, AWL member John Moloney, backed by the Independent Left.

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