Vital strike levy to return in May

To fund targeted strike action, PCS will soon reintroduce a small levy after it helped power our national campaign that won concessions for 2023/24.

From the end of May PCS will reintroduce small strike fund levy; the amount of the levy depends on the amount you pay for your membership.

It will be £5 a month for members earning £24,000 or more, and £3 a month for members earning less than £24,000.

In a recent consultation, members supported proceeding to strike action and using a strike levy to fund paid targeted action.

As we continue to ballot for industrial action, there is a strong chance that thousands of our members will be on strike this year – and they will need this strike levy to help win our demands on pay, pensions and job security.

Our strike levy is in effect a solidarity levy that creates a fund for those who would not otherwise be able to afford to strike. The funds built up by the levy enable PCS to make strike pay available to members involved in targeted action.

At The Pensions Regulator, where industrial action is paused after over 50 days of a hard-hitting strike, one member told us that the levy made a “huge difference” as strike pay allowed them to treble branch membership.

The levy, the member added, “made this a dispute where solidarity of the union was tangible because every union member across the UK was behind us, increasing our bargaining power and facilitating sustained action.”

Targeted, sustained action is a powerful way of demonstrating the value of our work, and what the employer loses when we are not there.

Targeted action

Last year, the strike levy enabled us to carry out effective and sustained action across multiple employment areas.

Combining targeted actions with three all-out one day strikes involving all members, we forced an offer from the UK government with concessions on pay, redundancy terms and promises of further talks on pay and job security.

The pay offer included a lump sum of £1500 and an increase in the headline pay remit figure from 2% to 4.5%, with an extra 0.5% for the lowest paid, for 2023/24.

This year, we are demanding a cost-of-living rise plus pay restoration for previous years, pay equality across departments on the best possible terms, a living wage of £15 a hour, a London weighting provision of a minimum £5,000 a year, 35 days annual leave minimum, and a significant shortening of the working week with no loss of pay.

To achieve these demands, the NEC will take decisions on where to target action to have most impact on the employer. The NEC also does not rule out all-out action alongside sustained, targeted action.

The money you pay into the levy is likely to be less than what you lose taking one day’s action. In terms of what we can win through this strategy, it is a small sacrifice to make.

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