100,000 civil servants vote for strike action

100,000 civil servants – members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union – have voted overwhelming for strike action. 

The average ‘Yes’ vote for industrial action over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy terms across the areas balloted, 86.2%, is the highest percentage vote in the union’s history.  

The legal turnout threshold of 50% has been achieved in 124 employer areas allowing for major industrial action, including in the Home Office (Border Force officials, passport workers), Department for Transport (driving examiners) and the Department for Work and Pensions (those working in job centres and processing benefits). 

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka has written to the Cabinet Office demanding meaningful negotiations on the union’s claims. 

Unless substantial proposals are received from the government, the union’s elected National Executive Committee (NEC) will next Friday (November 18) agree a programme of sustained industrial action.  

Mark Serwotka said: “The government must look at the huge vote for strike action across swathes of the civil service and realise it can no longer treat its workers with contempt. 

“Our members have spoken and if the government fails to listen to them, we’ll have no option than to launch a prolonged programme of industrial action reaching into every corner of public life. 

“Civil servants have willingly and diligently played a vital role in keeping the country running during the pandemic but enough is enough. 

“The stress of working in the civil service, under the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, job cuts and office closures means they’ve reached the end of their tethers. 

“We are calling on the government to respond positively to our members’ demands. They have to give our members a 10% pay rise, job security, pensions justice and protected redundancy terms."