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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2021

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise

photo Helen Pattison

photo Helen Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Semple, PCS and Socialist Party Scotland member

Prices have risen by at least 27% since 2010, according to the lower estimate of inflation, the Consumer Price Index. In the intervening period, a typical civil servant has faced Tory pay freezes, pay caps and unfunded pay offers. In ten years, a typical civil servant has seen their purchasing power decrease by around 20%. This is an unprecedented squeeze on pay and living standards for 400,000 workers.

The absence of adequate leadership on the part of the civil service trade unions during Covid, best exemplified by the PCS leadership parking the full national pay claim at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, has allowed the Tory government to pick off groups of workers in individual departments, providing some extra money on pay in exchange for the sale of terms and conditions. With no serious fightback from the union leaderships, workers have taken the extra money.

For those of us who have not been offered this extra money, we aren't impressed by Rishi Sunak's announcement about the "end" of the pay freeze. We are used to Treasury sleight of hand, and know the devil will be in the detail of the 2022 pay remit due in February next year. The best way to secure a favourable remit is to prepare to fight right now.

Only a fighting, democratic union leadership with socialist policies can unite members across departments, with different experiences and different needs. Only a socialist leadership can win support from the tens of thousands of civil servants who have stood their distance from the union because the current leadership is seen as inept and detached from the workplace.

Socialist Party members urge all civil servants to join the PCS union, get active and join the Broad Left Network to secure in our union the policies needed to win on pay.

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In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


COP26

Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief


Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


News

Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise


Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute


Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system


International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


 

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