Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 April 2004

Fighting Back Against New Labour's Job Cuts

THE CIVIL service union PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) met last week. The news of Brown's "day of the long knives" budget statement, announcing massive job cuts across the civil service, was ringing in our ears.

Mark Baker, PCS NEC, personal capacity

The attack on the civil service through the budget and other "efficiency" reviews was the main discussion, following which a resolution to the national conference was backed unanimously by the NEC including the "Moderates".

Socialist Party member Marion Lloyd from the education department DfES, which is facing the loss of 31% of its staff, said that her workplace was "like a morgue. We called it the St Patrick's Day massacre."

"They are saying they want to cut 30,000 jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) but there are only 17,000 staff in total in headquarters buildings in DWP so how the hell are they going to achieve this without hammering front-line services?" she continued.

In addition to the motion to conference, urgent talks will be sought with all departments to find out more detail about their proposals.


A series of advertisements will be placed in the national press highlighting the public service which PCS members provide from the "cradle to the grave". This is aimed at softening any public perception that we are all just "Whitehall bureaucrats".

PCS members are firmly committed to providing a quality public service. If the government is serious about reducing waste and duplication in the civil service then why are there 227 different pay bargaining units instead of one? Why are they intent on raising the pension age to 65, forcing people to work longer?

The PCS NEC have called for a return to national pay and a "flexible decade of retirement" but these have been rejected. How many of Blair's coterie of advisers and spin doctors will be sacrificed in the jobs cull? Do they provide a front-line service to the public?


UNFORTUNATELY, SOME union leaders like Kevin Curran of the GMB reflect the prejudice that we are "Whitehall bureaucrats" too. Curran originally welcomed the announcement about the job cuts but when tackled by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, said they would print an apology in the Morning Star.

This article though referred only to the GMB "opposing compulsory redundancies" which ministers have not ruled out. PCS headquarters staff are themselves GMB members and many have complained to their union about the position it has taken.

We have made it clear that we will fight these job cuts with industrial action if necessary. For this to happen, PCS needs an NEC who are prepared to lead the fight. For the forthcoming elections, over 100 branches have nominated Socialist Party member Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary (AGS) and the Left Unity/PCS Democrats list for the NEC. We need to make sure they secure victory.

The NEC also supported a further round of co-ordinated strike action in various departments, over pay, on 13 and 14 April. In the Treasury Solicitors, an improved offer had been received in writing by the unions following their industrial action but just as the union was about to ballot members to accept it, Treasury officials vetoed their own department's offer!

The NEC finished with the union's Head of Finance, and Chris Baugh's opponent in the AGS election, being forced to report that a financial deficit at the beginning of the year had been turned into a surplus and paid tribute to the NEC for the turnaround in finances. An extra 1.7 million in income from over 10,000 new members has also enabled us to boost the union's campaign fund to the tune of 1.5 million.

This is a truly remarkable achievement in just eight months. The Left Unity-led NEC has concentrated on key membership campaigns instead of the internal gravy train and in-fighting that marked the previous years of right-wing control.

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

In The Socialist 3 April 2004:

Stop The Council Tax Rip-Off

Fighting Back Against New Labour's Job Cuts

"We're Not Settling Until We Get A National Deal"

NHS: Superbugs, superdrugs and dirty hospitals

Don't Let The Market Rule Education

Workplace news and events

The New Satanic Mills

Council Workers Enjoy The Fruits Of Victory!

Defending trade union rights in Newham

International socialist news and analysis

Raffarin's 'Reforms' Decisively Rejected

Scottish Socialist Party Conference

CWI Appeal: Nigeria Members Arrested


Home   |   The Socialist 3 April 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleBalloting members on the pay cap

triangleWorkplace news in brief

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

triangleSocialist Party PCS bulletin: Scrap the pay cap


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

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

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

Civil Service:

triangleCoordinated action needed to break pay restraint

triangleCourt victory for PCS and all trade unions

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


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'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

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

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