20 June 2022

TUC march – we must work together to get pay rise we deserve

Defiant PCS members marched alongside fellow trade unionists in their tens of thousands on Saturday to demand government action to curb the brutal cost-of-living crisis that is seeing workers suffering unprecedented hardship.

Proudly marching at the TUC's We Demand Better demonstration behind the PCS balloon, members held placards reading "pay rise now" and "cut profits not jobs and services" in response to government plans to axe 91,000 civil service jobs and slash 43 DWP offices.

Crowds began marching from Portland Place to Parliament Square in central London to whistles and cheers as a blue flare was set off to mark the start of the march.

TUC research shows workers have lost almost £20,000 since 2008 because pay has not kept pace with ballooning inflation.

The PCS pay claim for 2022 of 10% and a living wage of £15 an hour for all public sector members is aimed at addressing the huge dent in pay under successive Tory governments and as inflation hits a 40-year high.

Thousands packed into Parliament Square to hear union leaders and campaigners demand higher wages, increased taxes for the rich, better working conditions and to support this week’s rail strikes by the RMT.

To deafening cheers, PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Make a noise if you support the rail workers going on strike.

"It shouldn't just be rail workers, it shouldn't just be postal workers and civil servants.

"If we all work together, march together and take industrial action together, we can defeat the government and get the pay rise we deserve."

He called on all public sector workers to take industrial action to get the pay rise they deserve and highlighted the PCS ballot in September.

PCS President Fran Heathcoate, speaking on behalf of the People's Assembly, told the rally: "We have now entered a period of deep economic instability.

"Crises are going to come one after another. These are economic circumstances that will mean real hardship for the entire working class.

"The unemployed and the disabled will be driven deeper into poverty and misery as will the so-called working poor.

"The Tories tell us if we don't have enough to eat or pay our fuel bills then we should simply work harder or get better jobs.

"There are now more foodbanks in this country than there are jobcentres, and that's a damning indictment of a society in economic decline.

Fran called for all workers to build resistance against the government’s cuts.

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