Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 January 2008

Strike against poverty deals

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in two of the largest government departments, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are gearing up for possible strike action on 31 January.

Mark Baker, civil service union PCS national executive (NEC), personal capacity

DWP members took two days of strike action before Christmas in response to management's imposition of a three-year deal giving just 2%, 0% and 1% to thousands of low-paid frontline civil service workers.

These are the sort of three-year deals which Brown would like to see implemented across the public sector. The PCS NEC, which met last week, agreed to continue "to pressurise the TUC for maximum co-ordination of united public-sector pay action and continue our dialogue with other public sector unions" and to clearly "publicise our opposition to three-year pay deals that cut the real level of pay and incorrectly blame public-sector workers for inflationary pressures".

Our members are the victims of inflation not the causes of it. The NEC also agreed to organise and approach other unions about a national lobby of parliament over government pay policy.

Over 70,000 members in HMRC are also being balloted as the department ploughs ahead with plans to close up to 250 offices and slash 25,000 jobs by 2011.

With 13,000 jobs now gone and a further 12,500 to go the service has already deteriorated, as the recent data loss shows. They are increasingly reliant on agency staff, overtime and private consultants to mask the immediate impact of job losses. Offices at the heart of communities servicing the public are facing meltdown.

As a result of the national action PCS members have taken so far, the government agreed to national talks for the first time. These talks are dealing with redundancy avoidance measures, relocation and contracting issues and the question of some elements of national pay agreements for the first time in over a decade.

These negotiations are backed with a clear mandate from members that further strike action should be called if further compulsory redundancies are announced during the talks. We have always been clear that these talks alone will not deal with public-sector pay restraint.

We will continue to support specific departmental groups in pay disputes. These are growing as more offers are rejected and we will co-ordinate this action where we can for maximum effect.

Over 160,000 members taking action together on 31 January sends a powerful message to government that our dispute is not over.

The likelihood of further strike action in other departments and continuing actions short of strike, confirms that the pay issue is still live and that members are determined to carry on the fight.

The pre-Christmas strikes in DWP were among the best-supported yet after 16 days of strike action in that department since 2004.

United public-sector action over pay in 2008 needs thorough preparation. The pension age campaign showed that where such action is planned and prepared for, it can force the government to retreat.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 23 January 2008:

Why should we pay for capitalist crisis?

Shock of recession draws near

Workplace news

Strike against poverty deals in PCS

Marching behind the Burslem 12

Socialist Party women

New threats to abortion rights


Defend Tommy Sheridan

SNP 'trusts' are PFI in disguise

Socialist Party campaign news

Tower Colliery closes: A brave attempt

Post office campaign: Changes in the law to break the poor

Keep Marksbury library open!

International socialist news and analysis

Bolivia at breaking point

Workplace analysis

NUT national executive: Left fighter stopped from standing

More work for less pay

Socialist Party workplace news

Shelter staff under attack from management

Cadburys close Keynsham factory

Council spends thousands fighting workers' pay claims

No more stooge union reps!


Home   |   The Socialist 23 January 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleWhat we saw


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

trianglePCS ballots members on the pay cap

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


trianglePreparing for the showdown


triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleUN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin


triangleCoordinated action needed to break pay restraint

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni



PCS ballots members on the pay cap


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice