Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2003

Civil servants launch pay battle: End Low Pay

IN REAL terms, civil service pay has fallen behind that of other public sector workers. Between 1992-2002 real earnings of the lowest-paid staff rose by only 3.5%-3.7% compared to 21% for nurses and 14% for primary school teachers and local government workers.

Mark Baker, PCS NEC, personal capacity

These harsh statistics highlight the need for a united civil service campaign on pay. The Socialist Party has championed the cause for a return to national pay bargaining for all PCS members across departments, agencies and the private sector. With over 170 different pay bargaining units, huge pay inequalities have emerged.

As PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said at the London rally: "An admin worker gets 9,900 per year in one department and 13,000 in another for the same job. That's a 31% difference. It's a lottery which depends on which minister is more pushy with the treasury."

PCS has won several legal cases which clearly show that all civil servants should be entitled to equal pay and conditions for work of equal value. Every legal victory is to be welcomed but on their own tribunal successes are not enough. A national pay claim, backed by a campaign of co-ordinated industrial action where possible, is needed.

PCS Left Unity, in which Socialist Party members play a leading role, has begun to build for this, with its majority on the national executive (NEC). The members' meetings called for the first week in November (see below) are a unique event in the history of PCS. When under right-wing control, the NEC never gave members the opportunity to be involved in a serious campaign to win back national pay.

Years of neglect by the previous leadership has weakened the union. So the government has been able to push through other attacks, like their attempts to steal our pension entitlements.

It was Socialist Party members on the NEC who put forward to the recent TUC conference, the idea of a day of action and national demonstration, linking up private and public sector unions with pensioners' groups. This has now become official TUC policy. But we should also prepare to defend PCS members' pension entitlements by whatever means are necessary.

We stand for:

"We have to do all it takes to win"

PCS MEMBERS attending the 1,500-strong pay and pensions rally in central London on 3 November, spoke to the socialist:

"It's great to see all these people here. Mark Serwotka hit the nail on the head in his speech - the government has to listen to us. We have massive inequality in pay, as a result of separate pay deals but as a last resort we will have to take industrial action.

"I moved from the DWP to the Passport Office and the pay is higher here even though I do the same job as before".

Vince Maple, Passport Office

"This meeting is long overdue. The strategy laid out is correct. We have appalling problems as a result of the different pay negotiations.

"In principle I am in favour of industrial action but I think we can win by playing it clever. We should not take on additional work, we should work to rule".

Janet Donahue, Department for Education and Skills

"The campaign is way overdue. It's about time the union took a hands-on approach to the problems caused by the break up of national pay bargaining and not just leave it up to the rank and file.

"I thought the members were apathetic but the meeting today says otherwise. We have to do all it takes to win.

"We spend all our time working on the machinery of government and have no time to do a proper job in the union".

Zita, assistant secretary of Department of Trade and Industry group.

Pay meetings

Lunchtime Pay and pensions campaign meetings are being held as we go to press, including:

6 November: Stevenage Leisure Centre, Sheffield City Hall, Birmingham and Midland Institute and Marryat Hall Dundee.

7 November: Holiday Inn Bristol, Swansea council chamber and Albert Hall Nottingham.

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

In The Socialist 8 November 2003:

End The Occupation Of Iraq

Civil servants launch pay battle: End Low Pay

Firefighters Take Action

Tory Party Victory For 'Something Of The Right'

Postal Workers Win Important Victory

Lewisham: Socialist Party Standing In Council By-Election

Galloway Takes Road Of 'Popular Unity'

Police Racism - Caught Red-Handed

'Oligarchs' And 'Bonapartes' - Capitalism In Post-Soviet Russia


Home   |   The Socialist 8 November 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Low pay:

triangleBosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!

triangleMixed-fleet workers show strikes get results

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleWorkplace news in brief


triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation


triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: The rise of Militant - lessons from our history

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz


triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference


triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

Civil Service:

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery


triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers


North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

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



December 2017

November 2017

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