End the pay freeze and attacks on conditions or face strikes, ministers told

6 December 2012

Ministers will be told to improve living standards and end attacks on working conditions or face a fresh ballot for strikes by more than a quarter of a million civil and public servants, following a decision by leaders of PCS.

The union's national executive has agreed plans for a campaign for fair pay and conditions, including lifting the pay freeze and 1% cap, a claim for pay rises for all staff of £1,200 or 5%, the introduction of the living wage on government contracts, and no cuts to pensions.

The union is also calling for an end to plans to cut back existing terms and conditions - including hours, holidays, flexible working and family-friendly policies.

The executive agreed that if the government and civil service employers fail to respond satisfactorily, the union will move to a national ballot in the new year for a programme of industrial action.

Austerity is not working

The decision comes just days after nationwide protests on Friday 30 November where PCS members held lunchtime demonstrations in opposition to the government's cuts to working conditions, jobs, pay and pensions.

The committee will meet again in January to assess the government's response and make a final decision on the timing of a ballot.

Yesterday's autumn statement by the chancellor George Osborne proved the government's obsession with austerity is not working, with economic growth forecasts downgraded again, and public servants and people entitled to welfare being forced to pay the price for Mr Osborne's failings.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "While we will seek meaningful negotiations, we can not and will not sit and watch this government undermine everything we have ever worked for, and we are committed to preparing for industrial action if necessary.

"George Osborne's disastrous management of our economy was laid bare in his autumn statement, and we will continue to take every opportunity to oppose his government's failing obsession with austerity and to campaign for the alternative of investment to improve our public services and revive our struggling communities."


 

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