Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/357/5885
United Action To
End Low Pay
Stop Job Cuts
Defend Public Services
THOUSANDS OF workers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are striking against low pay on 29 and 30 July. The starting salary at the DWP is a scandalously low £10,300. Many DWP staff have to claim the very benefits they are processing, just to get by.
So what is the government, through the DWP management, doing about this low-pay scandal? They’ve imposed a divisive bonus scheme (PDS), designed to keep pay low and are refusing any meaningful negotiations over this year’s pay round, which was due to be paid on 1 July.
Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in the DWP are being balloted about their opinion of senior management. Most expect a massive no confidence vote to be returned.
But low pay and PDS is on top of Gordon Brown’s announcement of over a hundred thousand civil service job cuts, many in the DWP, with the closure of 500 benefit office functions and ten pensions centres.
They won’t be cutting the number of ministers and their costs - travel, drinks, cars conferences etc though - one Whitehall civil servant told the socialist last week about the £8,000 spent on jetting his minister to a meeting for just one hour!
This is part of a wholesale attack by the government on the entire public sector. These job cuts must be fought, not just by the civil service unions or even just the public sector unions. This all-out assault needs an all-out response from the whole trade union movement. As a start, the PCS will be calling for a one-day public sector strike at this year’s TUC.
Janice Godrich, president of PCS told the socialist: "We now have over 310,000 members in PCS. We will maximise the strength of our members, campaigning politically and industrially. National civil service-wide action cannot be ruled out."
- Prepare for a one-day civil service strike.
- Organise all public sector unions in a 24-hour public sector strike in defence of jobs and services.
In The Socialist 24 July 2004:
Socialist Party news and analysis