24 May 2022

PCS conference backs national strike ballot over pay and pensions

PCS members have voted to back national strike action over pay and pensions.     

Delegates to the union’s annual conference in Brighton agreed to hold a statutory industrial action ballot in September 2022 after being offered just a 2% pay rise in the face of the cost-of-living crisis. 

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The sheer size of this vote shows the very real anxiety and anger our members feel at the way they have been treated by this government. 

“To vote for strike action is a massive step, but the actions of the government have left us with no alternative.”  

Earlier, Mark told conference: “Throughout the pandemic our members worked hard providing critical frontline services.  

“Despite our hard work, the government attacked us. They came for our integrity, accusing us of being lazy because we worked from home.  

“Let me tell you: unlike the prime minister, we weren’t being distracted by cheese. We kept the country running, providing Universal Credit to almost 10m people, furlough to almost 6 million people, keeping our borders open, keeping the roads safe.

"Then government came for our pensions but still we carried on working, doing our bit, making people's lives easier.

“Then the government came for our pensions but still we carried on working, doing our bit, making people’s lives easier.  

“Then the government came for our dignity, Jacob Rees-Mogg sticking Post-It notes on computers, demanding we returned to desks which, subsequently it transpired weren’t there. But still we carried on working, getting on with our jobs  

“But then they came for our jobs. They announced plans to close 42 DWP offices, ten Insolvency Offices and, just 10 days ago, told us one in five civil servant’s jobs would go.  

“They didn’t listen to us when we carried on working, so maybe now it’s time for us to stop working. It’s time to tell this rotten government: “Enough is enough”.  

“It's time for us to stand up to these politically-charged cuts, tell the government we will not sit down while you use us as political pawns, toss us, like red meat to the diminishing number of Tory voters in an attempt to save your skin.  

“We have had enough. The government has left us no option other than to call for strike action because that is the only language they understand.  

“The government must know cuts have consequences, not just for our members, but for everyone who relies on the services they provide.”