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The biggest strike ballot of the year is being launched today which could see potentially up to 150,000 workers walk out this summer.
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members across the civil service and related areas will be balloted until July 23rd with the union recommending a huge yes vote.
The union is seeking a strong mandate for strike action in order to negotiate a good pay rise for its members.

At the moment, ministers have kept in place a de-facto 1 percent pay cap for our members in key government departments whereas they have lifted the pay cap for NHS staff and some local government workers.
In recent talks cabinet office officials admitted to union negotiators that they were using 2015 spending budgets to calculate pay, meaning that only a 1 percent pay rise would be available to civil service staff, unless individual government departments found savings through job cuts and other ‘efficiencies.’
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members have been singled out amongst public sector workers. The de- facto one percent pay cap remains in place and we are absolutely disgusted at the government for misleading the union.
“Ministers gave us assurances earlier in the year that hard working government staff would be rewarded for all the issues they have had to face up to.
“Instead they are being offered a paltry one percent pay increase when they have had to cope with job cuts, Brexit and issues as difficult as Universal Credit and the Windrush scandal.”
Mr Serwotka went on to add that the union was balloting its members until July 23rd where it expects an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote for action.
He added: “We will use the mandate we get from our members to press the government for a meaningful pay rise. But they should be in no doubt that if they fail to deliver the goods, we will deliver the biggest strike of the year in summer.
“Our members feel they have no other option left to them. We want a negotiated settlement but we are prepared for a period of sustained action if the government doesn’t offer its hardworking staff a meaningful pay rise.”
If strike action goes ahead, it will be the biggest walkout by the union since 2011 when it was involved in a pensions’ dispute.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka comment on National Audit Office Report on Universal Credit Roll Out

"Universal credit has been a disaster from the beginning. It is based on the false notion that public services must shrink and that those on benefits were to blame for Britain’s financial problems. The NAO report today confirms what PCS members have been saying since the roll out began.

The chaos of universal credit is having a shocking impact on the staff delivering the programme too. Workers in the DWP are under huge pressure and are suffering due to the turmoil created by the Government.

Let’s be clear: the blame for this chaos lies with the Tories. Their hostile and aggressive approach means that workers in the DWP are treated almost as badly as benefit claimants. Today’s report is yet more evidence that the Government should heed our call and suspend the roll out of universal credit immediately.

THE FIREFIGHTERS' DILEMMA

TUCG: MARK SERWOTKA ON THE FIGHT AGAINST AUSTERITY

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BOOK: COST OF LIVING CRISIS

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By MIchael Calderbank

Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

 

Buy now from www.radicalread.co.uk

Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.