PCS members demonstrating, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members demonstrating, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Marion Lloyd, chair, PCS Left Unity (personal capacity)

It will take a determined, united campaign from all public sector workers to break the government’s refusal to fund decent pay levels for public sector workers.

Earlier this year, civil service union PCS put its pay demands to the government:

  • end the pay cap now
  • fund above-inflation increases of 5% or £1,200, whichever is greater
  • for a living minimum hourly wage of £10 for all, including government contract workers

The negative response to this claim from the government led PCS to renew calls at the 2017 TUC congress for coordinated industrial action across the public sector.

It led also to a PCS consultative ballot asking members to reaffirm opposition to the pay cap and indicate support for strike action.

Members gave a massive boost to the union’s pay campaign with 98.9% voting to scrap the pay cap and 79.2% supporting industrial action. With a 48.8% turnout, PCS is on course to win a statutory ballot for action.

Other public sector unions are considering their position, with a number proposing to hold similar consultative ballots. This is to be welcomed – and they need to get on with it.

United, coordinated action on pay, culminating in a mass demonstration early in the new year, could pave the way to ending public sector pay misery.