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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2007

PCS members take industrial action

ON 30 March, thousands of PCS members working in the Land Registry and other government departments, started a month of industrial action short of strike action. This is part of their pay campaign, after a below-inflation pay rise in 2006.

Dave Lunn, PCS chair, Birkenhead (Rosebrae) Land Registry branch, personal capacity

Reports from the Treasury hint that the 2007 pay offer is likely to be less than 2% (while the RPI is currently running over 4.5%). This will once more amount to a pay cut in real terms and must also be resisted.

The campaign also seeks to change an unfair method of pay calculation in the Land Registry, whereby many members needing to take unpaid domestic leave or taking strike action end up being deducted significantly more than colleagues in the majority of other government departments.

This action is also linked to the PCS national campaign in defence of pay, jobs and public services, which saw over 200,000 PCS members taking strike action on 31 January.

PCS members take great pride in the quality services that they provide to the public and it is demoralising when the employer demands more and more from them while at the same time cutting their pay.

The day before the action was due to take place, Land Registry management issued an email to staff threatening them with disciplinary action. This is despite the action being called as a result of a legal ballot and our members being protected by employment law.

Although members are understandably concerned about management's bullying tactics they have still enthusiastically supported the action.

If management try to follow through on their threats then PCS must respond with the full weight of the national union to defend members and reps.

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