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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 January 2004

Strike Back Against Low Pay

OVER 100,000 civil servants, PCS members, in five departments have voted decisively for industrial action over pay. (See below)

In the biggest department, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) the workforce is particularly angry, having had a derisory 2.6% pay deal imposed on them. Management are also forcing through a divisive performance-related pay scheme.

During the ballot, it was clear in the pay campaign meetings that PCS members were prepared to take action to support their claims. In anticipation of a vote for action, the PCS leadership in the DWP announced a two-day strike on 29-20 January. Strike rallies across the country will be held on those dates.

This will be followed by a conference for branch secretaries in February and further strikes in February and March.

The union leadership in the other departments will be making similar plans now the ballot results are known.

A senior Whitehall official has already told the BBC that strike action would be "indefensible" and that ministers are preparing to stand firm.

But the union has pointed out a 100 million underspend in the core running costs of the DWP. So the money is there for a pay rise in line with inflation and to take the lowest-paid out of poverty.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka drew attention to the scandal of low pay in the civil service when he said during the strike ballots: "The people being balloted on industrial action aren't your bowler-hatted Sir Humphreys, these are people who are low paid, delivering key frontline services and in many cases in receipt of the very benefits they hand out."

Ballot Results

Department for Work and Pensions

Home Office

Department for Constitutional Affairs

Prison Service

 

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In The Socialist 24 January 2004:

No Fees!

Top-Up Fees And Blair's Future In The Balance

Make Big Business And The Rich Pay

Australia: Fees Don't Work


Socialist Party workplace news

For a fighting leadership of the teachers' union

Strike Back Against Low Pay

Fighting Low Pay At Sainsbury's

Ealing's Financial Crisis

Support Francis Tienga Ngale

Karl Debbaut - Next Hearing 26 January


Socialist Party feature

London: Obscene Wealth And Abject Poverty


International socialist news and analysis

Iraq: Imperialism's Quagmire

NGOs Provide No Solutions For The Exploited


 

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