Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 April 2004

Fighting Back Against New Labour's Job Cuts

THE CIVIL service union PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) met last week. The news of Brown's "day of the long knives" budget statement, announcing massive job cuts across the civil service, was ringing in our ears.

Mark Baker, PCS NEC, personal capacity

The attack on the civil service through the budget and other "efficiency" reviews was the main discussion, following which a resolution to the national conference was backed unanimously by the NEC including the "Moderates".

Socialist Party member Marion Lloyd from the education department DfES, which is facing the loss of 31% of its staff, said that her workplace was "like a morgue. We called it the St Patrick's Day massacre."

"They are saying they want to cut 30,000 jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) but there are only 17,000 staff in total in headquarters buildings in DWP so how the hell are they going to achieve this without hammering front-line services?" she continued.

In addition to the motion to conference, urgent talks will be sought with all departments to find out more detail about their proposals.


A series of advertisements will be placed in the national press highlighting the public service which PCS members provide from the "cradle to the grave". This is aimed at softening any public perception that we are all just "Whitehall bureaucrats".

PCS members are firmly committed to providing a quality public service. If the government is serious about reducing waste and duplication in the civil service then why are there 227 different pay bargaining units instead of one? Why are they intent on raising the pension age to 65, forcing people to work longer?

The PCS NEC have called for a return to national pay and a "flexible decade of retirement" but these have been rejected. How many of Blair's coterie of advisers and spin doctors will be sacrificed in the jobs cull? Do they provide a front-line service to the public?


UNFORTUNATELY, SOME union leaders like Kevin Curran of the GMB reflect the prejudice that we are "Whitehall bureaucrats" too. Curran originally welcomed the announcement about the job cuts but when tackled by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, said they would print an apology in the Morning Star.

This article though referred only to the GMB "opposing compulsory redundancies" which ministers have not ruled out. PCS headquarters staff are themselves GMB members and many have complained to their union about the position it has taken.

We have made it clear that we will fight these job cuts with industrial action if necessary. For this to happen, PCS needs an NEC who are prepared to lead the fight. For the forthcoming elections, over 100 branches have nominated Socialist Party member Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary (AGS) and the Left Unity/PCS Democrats list for the NEC. We need to make sure they secure victory.

The NEC also supported a further round of co-ordinated strike action in various departments, over pay, on 13 and 14 April. In the Treasury Solicitors, an improved offer had been received in writing by the unions following their industrial action but just as the union was about to ballot members to accept it, Treasury officials vetoed their own department's offer!

The NEC finished with the union's Head of Finance, and Chris Baugh's opponent in the AGS election, being forced to report that a financial deficit at the beginning of the year had been turned into a surplus and paid tribute to the NEC for the turnaround in finances. An extra 1.7 million in income from over 10,000 new members has also enabled us to boost the union's campaign fund to the tune of 1.5 million.

This is a truly remarkable achievement in just eight months. The Left Unity-led NEC has concentrated on key membership campaigns instead of the internal gravy train and in-fighting that marked the previous years of right-wing control.

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

In The Socialist 3 April 2004:

Stop The Council Tax Rip-Off

Fighting Back Against New Labour's Job Cuts

"We're Not Settling Until We Get A National Deal"

NHS: Superbugs, superdrugs and dirty hospitals

Don't Let The Market Rule Education

Workplace news and events

The New Satanic Mills

Council Workers Enjoy The Fruits Of Victory!

Defending trade union rights in Newham

International socialist news and analysis

Raffarin's 'Reforms' Decisively Rejected

Scottish Socialist Party Conference

CWI Appeal: Nigeria Members Arrested


Home   |   The Socialist 3 April 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


trianglePCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced

triangleVote for a left, fighting PCS leadership

trianglePCS elections: Vote for Democracy Alliance candidates!

triangleBritish Museum: Carillion workers demand to be brought back in-house

trianglePCS: Re-elect the left and fight for decent pay


triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can councils protect public services?

triangleLocal paper reveals Labour candidate 'tried to defect to the Tories'

triangleLabour councillors could stop unsafe 'driver-only operation' tomorrow

triangleThe Socialist inbox

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

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



UCU members vote to end pensions dispute



Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism



Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist



Hull says no to war, no to austerity


The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper


Socialist Party

Building fund: 150,000 milestone smashed!


Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!



Workers' victory over anti-union Scottish council



Avenue School strikers and parents win judicial review



Vote for a left, fighting PCS leadership



PCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced



Bromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues



Butterfields tenants join TUSC campaign



Fighting the cuts to women's services



May elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

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: 0784 114 4890

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

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018