Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 13 March, 2013 - 11:48

PCS branches are mobilising to defend workplace reps victimised for union activity.

Lee Rock in Sheffield, Jon Bigger in Merseyside, and Kevin Smith in Bootle all face the sack for trade union activity. For more on these cases, and how labour movement activists can support Lee, Jon, and Kevin, see here.

The Civil Service Rank-and-File Network (CSRF), a newly-formed grouping of PCS activists, is planning local actions to coincide with the European TUC’s Day of Action on 13 March.

Civil servants' budget day strike

Submitted by Matthew on 13 March, 2013 - 11:32

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will begin a three-month programme of industrial action, including strikes, on 20 March, when George Osborne announces his budget.

The strikes are against a variety of measures, including attacks on pay, job losses, and pension reforms.

The programme will include both national and sector-specific action, and will combine strikes with other industrial action. In between days of industrial action, the union will organise local protests and campaigning activity around specific themes.

Tories attack civil servants' union rights Matthew Wed, 03/06/2013 - 12:36

The government has begun reducing facility time (paid time off from work duties in order to carry out trade union activity) within the civil service.

By the end of this year, we expect facility time will be reduced by about 50% and many, if not most, union activists currently on a 100% facility time will be on 50% or less per cent.

Department for Education workers strike

Submitted by AWL on 25 February, 2013 - 12:43

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in the Department for Education have voted by 63% to strike against cuts.

Bosses’ cuts plan for the department threatens six office and 1,000 jobs. A PCS statement said: “Last autumn, following a review led by global management consultancy Bain and Company, the department announced it would be shedding more than a quarter of its workforce, going further even than chancellor George Osborne’s required level of cuts.

Civil service fightback Matthew Wed, 02/13/2013 - 09:32

Ballot papers have been sent out to 250,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) working in the civil service and associated bodies. The ballot is for discontinuous strike action and action short of a strike.

The dispute is about pay, job security, pensions, and terms and conditions. A series of regional briefings have been held in the run-up to the ballot to ask reps what sort of action, and how much of it, will members support. Feedback from the briefings suggests all is not well.

PCS national strike ballot Matthew Wed, 01/30/2013 - 11:34

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will launch a nationwide strike ballot on Friday 8 February. The ballot will close on 4 March.

PCS members will be balloted for strikes over a range of issues, including job cuts and attacks on pay. A union statement said: “Because of massive job cuts civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the public services that we all rely on. But instead of rewarding them, the government is cutting their pay, raiding their pensions and trying to rip up their contracts by cutting terms and conditions.

DWP jobs saved? Matthew Wed, 01/16/2013 - 14:03

A strike by workers in the Department for Work and Pensions against job losses, scheduled for 21 January, is unlikely to go ahead.

The ballot, in response to the announcement of 43 compulsory redundancies, returned a vote in favour strikes, but it now looks as though management might back down from that. PCS union leaders say talks with management have been “very positive”.

As we go to presss, the exact detail of the talks is unknown. Members should decide on the future of the dispute.

If the jobs have indeed been saved, that is a significant victory.

Civil servants' strike ballot Matthew Wed, 01/09/2013 - 12:45

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in the Department for Work and Pensions will strike on 21 January if a ballot, which closes on 10 January, returns a yes vote.

Airport workers face pensions fight

Submitted by AWL on 19 December, 2012 - 2:02

On 26 November, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) staff were faced with a grim announcement from management: their Defined Benefit pension scheme was in deficit to the tune of £1bn, and threatened to bring down the company (again).

Part of the solution is a change from RPI to CPI, following the well-worn path of the public sector. In a letter sent to the homes of all 4,500 employees, the CEO assured members that there will be “measured and proportionate contributions from all stakeholders”, though no details have been given as to how any other party is to contribute.

Daring strategy needed in civil service fight

Submitted by martin on 11 December, 2012 - 10:41

A statement from the civil service union PCS says: “The union’s national executive [NEC] has agreed plans for a determined campaign for fair pay and working conditions, including a ballot for industrial action by more than a quarter of a million civil and public servants.”

“The NEC agreed that if employers do not respond satisfactorily to our demands, we will move to a national ballot in the new year for a programme of industrial action.”