PCS

Public & Commercial Services Union - trade union for civil servants

Union News in brief: PCS, public sector pensions, Sussex university technicians

CIVIL SERVICE: PCS has, for all practical purposes, announced the end of its national pay campaign. In a union circular, general secretary Mark Serwotka and union president Janice Godrich claim that the union has won major concessions.

In fact the so-called deal is not a deal at all. It does not materially change the circumstances on the ground. It does not revisit the below-inflation pay awards of 2007. It does not reduce the number of different bargaining units into which the civil service is divided for pay negotiations (currently about 200).

Brief reports: PCS, Sussex Uni techs

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PCS and NUT: lessons for the left

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The decisions by the PCS civil service union and the National Union of Teachers not to strike over pay in November mark a setback.

The Government has imposed a two-and-a-bit per cent pay rise limit, a limit which cuts real wages. Over two pay rounds now, public-sector union leaders have put out vast volumes of talk about united union action to beat that limit. Both pay rounds have passed without any serious such joint action being organised.

Two pay rounds of the Government's two-and-a-bit per cent limit have passed with much talk from union leaders about joint action against that limit, but failure to organise any serious such joint action. Why?

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PCS leaders' explanation for calling off the 10 November strike

Author: 

A PCS activist

This is the full text of the PCS leadership's explanation to union reps of why the 10 November strike was called off.

PCS suspends national industrial action over pay

The PCS national executive committee met this morning and following their receipt of a letter from Sir Gus O'Donnell, head of the home civil service, have decided to suspend the industrial action planned from Monday 10 November and the overtime ban proposed to commence on Tuesday 11 November.

Full text of the PCS leadership's explanation to union reps of why the 10 November strike was called off.

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The SWP in PCS

Author: 

A PCS activist

The Socialist Workers Party has three members on the NEC as part of the Left Unity slate – Sue Bond, one of the National Vice Presidents, Andy Reid, and Paul Williams.

Paul Williams is a serious trade union militant who AWL supporters suspect was placed on the NEC slate to stiffen the backbone of the SWP NEC members (for instance the then SWP NEC members, including Sue Bond, had supported the calling off the planned jobs, pay and pensions strike in 2005).

SWP’s PCS members have pretty much supported the approach of the NEC to national pay and other big issues throughout the years Left Unity has controlled PCS

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

PCS leaders' record on action for national pay

In November 2004 PCS members struck in support of six demands, including national pay. Yet pay never featured in the propaganda for the dispute.

Similarly, in 2005, members were balloted on a number of demands – including jobs and pay - but were then told the planned strike, called off for the “two tier” pensions deal, was really only ever about pensions (and frankly pay again did not really feature in the membership bulletins).

The PCS leaders have form in calling off action without anything being offered by the employer.

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PCS leaders' record on national pay negotiations

Author: 

A PCS activist

In 2005 the PCS leadership said, “We have persuaded the Government to introduce a fairer, more coherent pay system…” It was typical of the spin that has come to characterise the PCS’s would-be Marxist leadership.

In 2005 the PCS leadership said, “We have persuaded the Government to introduce a fairer, more coherent pay system…” It was typical of the spin that has come to characterise the PCS’s would-be Marxist leadership.

Trade Unions: 

The politics of the PCS's dispute over national civil service pay

Author: 

A PCS activist

The PCS national dispute is a necessary strike against a gratuitous government pay policy that is squeezing public sector workers at a time of sharply rising costs. It is a fight we have to win if civil servants are not to have their living standards slashed this year and in coming years.

It is impossible to speak of the civil service without speaking about low pay, inequality within and without that employment sector, inflation, the struggle to keep going, and the privatisation and regressive taxation policies of the government.

Trade Unions: 

PCS backdown was a mistake

Author: 

A PCS activist

The PCS National Executive Committee's decision to "suspend" the national civil service one day strike planned for Monday 10 November is at best a dreadful mistake. Or it may be a prelude to abandoning the action, possibly on the pretext of some relatively minor concession.

The PCS Executive's decision to "suspend" the strike planned for Monday 10 November is a dreadful mistake - if not a prelude to abandoning the action, possibly on the pretext of some relatively minor concession.

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Civil service and teachers

The PCS civil service union has called a strike for 10 November, and the teachers’ union NUT will announce the result of its strike ballot on 3 November.<--break-->

The PCS civil service union has called a strike for 10 November, and the teachers' union NUT will announce the result of its strike ballot on 3 November.

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Striking on different days in November

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Civil servants (PCS) and teachers (NUT) are set to strike in November against the Government’s two-and-a-bit per cent limit on pay rises — but on different days.

How the foul-up happened is a mystery. Both unions now have avowedly left-wing Executive majorities and top full-time officials. Both union leaderships make a big deal of wanting united action by public sector workers against the Government's wage-cut plans.

Civil servants (PCS) and teachers (NUT) are set to strike in November against the Government’s two-and-a-bit per cent limit on pay rises — but on different days.

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Unions and immigration officials

Author: 

Matthew Thompson

It is obviously welcome as Robin Sivapalan reports (Solidarity 3/139) that the campaign against immigration controls is being taken into the trade union movement, given the way these laws are used against the struggles of migrant workers on the Tube and elsewhere.

Should unions accept immigration officials as member?

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Public sector pay: how to win

Author: 

Chris Hickey

If anything sums up New Labour as a Government for the rich, a cuckoo in the labour movement nest, it has to be their year-on-year drive to keep public sector wages below the rate of inflation.

If anything sums up New Labour as a Government for the rich, a cuckoo in the labour movement nest, it has to be their year-on-year drive to keep public sector wages below the rate of inflation.

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PCS and NUT may strike on different days

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Unbelievably, it looks as if the pay strikes by civil servants (PCS) and teachers (NUT) in November could be on different days.

The NUT's ballot begins on 6 October, and the PCS's on 24 September. Under the current laws, a ballot mandate for industrial action has to be activated within 28 days, or it lapses; at the same time, however, there's a minimum time (notice to the employer, and so on) between a union getting a ballot mandate and organising a strike.

Unbelievably, it looks as if the pay strikes by civil servants (PCS) and teachers (NUT) in November could be on different days. Activists in the two unions are pressing the leaderships to seek modifications and workarounds to get the action synchronised.

Trade Unions: 

Left unions form political alliance

Author: 

GMB Delegate

Perhaps the most positive development at the TUC congress was the formation of a new Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, led by left-wing MP John McDonnell and bringing together the RMT, PCS, NUJ and FBU (with the POA, NAPO and BFAWU expected to come on board soon). The group aims to act as a workers’ voice in parliament and coordinate the parliamentary work of trade unions.

Perhaps the most positive development at the TUC congress was the formation of a new Trade Union Co-ordinating Group, led by left-wing MP John McDonnell and bringing together the RMT, PCS, NUJ and FBU

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Worker self-management in the DSA?

Author: 

By a civil servant

Increasingly in the Civil service, and probably in the public sector generally, there is a move to fragment jobs and functions i.e. to introduce further division of labour.

Therefore it is good to report an interesting experiment in the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), which is part of the Department for Transport, that flows contrary to this tide of work fragmentation.

After union pressure, a trial of two new methods of working is being proposed in the Driving Standards Agency

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Public pay strikes in Scotland

As we go to press (20 August 2008) a 24-hour strike action by local government workers, members of UNISON, UNITE, and the GMB is taking place.

The same day PCS members employed by the Scottish Government and Registers of Scotland, are staging a follow-up 24-hour strike.

Both strikes are about below-inflation pay offers for workers in the public sector.

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has offered local authority workers a three-year pay-deal, with pay going up by just 2.5% each year.

On 20 August 2008), local government workers, members of UNISON, UNITE, and the GMB, struck in Scotland, and so did PCS members.

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Short industrial reports

CIVIL SERVICE JOB SECURITY

PCS members are currently being balloted on a job security agreement struck with the Civil Service. This agreement, called the protocols, is the result of long running union agitation over job security. Members should vote in favour, but be clear as to limitations and weaknesses.

Civil service jobs; new management approach in DWP; defend John McDermott!

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Union round up

Author: 

Patrick Murphy, Mike Fenwick

TEACHERS: The Executive of the National Union of Teachers on 29 May considered alternative timetables for a ballot for discontinuous strike action to continue the pay campaign. The recommendation discussed was a ballot for the Autumn. The earliest date based on that timetable would be 12 November.

Roundup of news from NUT, PCS, Unison

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Civil Service Pay

Pay will be the major issue before this year’s PCS national conference. Given the general pay squeeze across the public sector and high inflation rate everybody expects that civil servants will get below inflation offers; with many of these increases being non-consolidated. All rational activists agree on the importance of public sector unions working together. If this were to happen, or even if a few unions were to band together, it would be politically and industrially significant

Pay will be the major issue before this year’s PCS national conference. Given the general pay squeeze across the public sector and high inflation rate everybody expects that civil servants will get below inflation offers

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Public sector activists call for action after 24 April

Civil service by Workers’ Liberty PCS Members

A number of Groups (sectors) in PCS are striking on 24 April alongside the teachers and lecturers.

Our strike will make the news and will undoubtedly worry the powers that be; how much better if the whole of the PCS union was on strike.

Of course it does not stop there. Where are Unison, GMB, Unite etc? Gordon Brown has a united and consistent policy towards public sector pay and employment, yet the union movement does not.

PCS, NUT and UCU members call to build on April 24th Strikes

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24 April in London

Author: 

Martin Thomas

The picket line at the Shelter office on Old St, London, was good. On the workers' third day of strike action - after a long pause, a lot of pressure from management, and a lot of foot-dragging or worse from full-time union officials - picket numbers were still buoyant, and the mood was defiant.

Old Street is the base for Shelter's top management, and employs a lot of agency workers, so some people did go into work. But, during the time I was on the picket line, only similar numbers to those on the 5 and 10 March strikes.

A good demonstration in London - but both the union leaders, and the established union "left", fell short on follow-up.

Trade Unions: 

Fighting low and unequal pay

On the 29 February members of the PCS union in the Department for Transport (DfT) took strike action over low and unequal pay, jobs and privatisation.

The strike had a great impact:

Fighting low and unequal pay in the Civil Service

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PCS calls off 31 January strikes

The civil service workers' union PCS has called off strikes set for 31 January.

The PCS website reports:

"The Group Executive Committee (GEC) [in the Department of Work and Pensions] met on Thursday 24th January and agreed to suspend the strike planned for 31st January because the DWP had agreed at the last minute to have more talks to try to find a negotiated settlement in our pay dispute."

PCS has called off strikes scheduled for 31 January 2008.

Trade Unions: 

Draft motions on pay for PCS conference

Author: 

John Moloney and Chris Hickey

Draft motions on pay, multi-year pay deals, and public sector alliance for PCS conference 2008.

PAY 2008
1) This conference notes that:

Draft motions on pay, multi-year pay deals, and public sector alliance for PCS conference 2008

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Brown says: billions for shareholders, pennies for workers

Pay cut

Author: 

Gerry Bates

For the shareholders and potential buyers of Northern Rock, the Government is all smiles and graces. Another few billion pounds? Yes, sir, of course!

For millions of public sector workers, it is a different story. The Government is insisting not only on a limit of around 2% on pay rises - which, with inflation at 4%, means cuts in real wages - but also on locking that in with settlements lasting three years.

The Government is insisting not only on a limit of around 2% on pay rises and on locking that in with settlements lasting three years

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Three groups of workers set to strike on 31 January

PCS on strike

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Civil service workers in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will strike on 31 January over pay. They are likely to be joined by workers in HMRC (Revenue and Customs), striking over job losses, and workers in the Home Office (striking over pay).

Next in line are workers in the Department for Transport, who will be balloting from 25 January to 15 February. The union in DfT plans a one-day strike on 29 February, followed by a six-month plan of selective action designed for maximum impact.

Civil service workers in DWP, HMRC, and the Home Office are likely to strike on 31 January.

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