Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 November 2006

Fighting civil service job cuts

Vote 'yes' for national strike action

THE PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) has agreed to organise a national industrial action ballot in the new year as part of the campaign against job cuts and the imposition of below-inflation pay deals on civil service workers.

Mark Baker, PCS NEC, personal capacity

Gordon Brown's statement in June 2004 that he planned to cut over 100,000 civil service jobs and implement a series of so-called efficiency measures across the civil service has been met with a determined campaign from the left-led PCS NEC and general secretary.

National action in November 2004 forced the government to abandon plans to introduce unpaid sick leave and led to an agreement which compels all departments to take measures to avoid compulsory redundancies. Until this month it has done just that but the announcement of 27 compulsory redundancies in environment department DEFRA and the DTI show that the time is right to move to a further national ballot.

There have been a number of departmental campaigns, such as in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where eleven days strike action have been taken against job cuts and efficiency measures. In the HMRC (revenue and customs) a campaign has been waged against "lean processing" an attempt to bring so-called total quality management techniques into the department.

These measures are not about making the service more efficient - 21 million calls to DWP contact centres are going unanswered and only 50% of calls to Jobcentre plus are being returned within 24 hours.

Meanwhile the estimated official 'error overpayment' amounts on state pension payments have trebled in the last two years since 30,000 DWP jobs have been cut. HMRC have announced that hundreds of its local offices are to be closed and a further 12,500 jobs axed on top of those that have already gone. Yet the Department, seeking to save 105 million through staff cuts, has spent 106 million on management consultants. Rather than making these public services more efficient, it is priming them for privatisation.

Members are increasingly angry that in addition to being expected to work harder with fewer resources, their pay is being held down by public-sector pay restraint statements from Brown.

Pay disputes loom in ten government departments who have been offered below-inflation increases for many members.

Unlike Brown, PCS can't just announce a national response to a national announcement.

Britain's anti-union laws mean that we have to inform over 200 different "employers" that we are balloting. In order to maintain a sustained campaign, which allows us to organise various forms of action across departments, members have to vote 'yes' to two questions in a national ballot.

This will look to start with a one-day strike on 31 January 2007 followed by a two-week overtime ban. This allows time for PCS departmental groups to organise for appropriate action in their own areas which support the national campaign.

Of course, PCS remain committed to trying to achieve a negotiated settlement and have spent the last two years demonstrating our commitment to that.

But it is now increasingly clear that the government, whether it be led by Blair or Brown, are not interested in the valuable public services our members provide.

We will be campaigning hard over the next few weeks to ask members to vote 'yes' to action in the New Year and endorsement of a positive campaign of action on basic industrial demands - no compulsory redundancies, no cuts in pay and conditions, staffing levels which can deliver a good-quality public service.

PCS, with its socialist leadership, is leading the way in the defence of its members' terms and conditions.

We are also approaching other unions to give what support they can but also to step up the joint union Public Services NOT Private Profit campaign.

A vigorous multi-union campaign can force the government to retreat as action on pensions showed last year.

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

In The Socialist 29 November 2006:

Ripping the heart out of the NHS

Socialism 2006

Socialism 2006: "A brilliant and inspiring experience"

A world in struggle

Youth rally: Socialist ideas are the future

Closing rally: How to defend the NHS

Socialism 2006 - an unmissable event!

Finance appeal - 30,873.44!

Workplace news and analysis

Vote 'yes' for national strike action

Fighting and striking, on all fronts

Glasgow council workers prepare to strike

Socialist Party news and analysis

Socialists fight Labour's attacks

Costs soar while communities ignored

Bosses' tax moans threaten cuts

Top cops say: "Protest but don't offend anyone"

International socialist news and analysis

Gemayel killing fuels political tensions

Gaza: How long will the ceasefire last?

Hundreds of thousands gather to inaugurate Lopez Obrador

Sri Lanka protest

Australia - Big increase in votes for Socialist Party in Richmond

Dutch Socialist Party makes sensational election gains

Socialist Party review

Leon Trotsky's Transitional Programme


Home   |   The Socialist 29 November 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleGerman engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

triangleNewham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together

triangleBosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

Civil Service:

trianglePCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery

trianglePCS pay cap ballot closes soon


triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

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

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference


triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

triangleSheffield Eastern Ave Job Centre strike ends


triangleCoordinated action needed to break pay restraint

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions



German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more



Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success



Nottingham hospital black alert


East Midlands

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference


West Midlands

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference



Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead



Bradford protests against kids' service cuts


May Day

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!



Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget



Save Salford nurseries!



Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved



Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation



Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!



Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

February 2018

January 2018