(as well as teachers, train drivers and university lecturers)
The Government’s response to nearly a million workers striking for fair pay? Smash their right to strike!
On Wednesday 1st February, 4 major unions (NEU, PCS, UCU and ASLEF) will be striking, representing ½ million workers nationally. More than a million public sector workers have already voted overwhelmingly for strike action during this period in reaction to the Government’s arbitrary and unreasonable pay cut policies, though not all will be out on strike on this day.
Those striking include 100,000 civil servants who are members of the PCS union.
The PCS, which represents workers employed by several British government departments, said an average of 86.2% of its balloted members voted for industrial action – the highest percentage vote in the union’s history. It comes after the Government announced plans to reduce civil servant jobs by 91,000 and proposals to cut redundancy pay by an estimated 25.9%. PCS says: “With inflation over 10% and the government offering a measly 2%, we can’t afford not to win this dispute. As well as this one-day strike of all members, we have called hard-hitting, targeted action over long periods to put real industrial pressure on the government, including the Home Office, Border Force, Department for Transport and Defra. The all-member action on 1 February with other unions will pile on yet more pressure.”
“The Government’s own directly employed workers – civil servants – have been treated worst of all,” said Martin Mayer, Secretary Sheffield Trade Union Council. “Since 2010, civil servants have suffered more pay freezes and below inflation pay rises than other public sector workers, plus major attacks on their pensions. Now they are being discriminated against again with the lowest pay offer – just 2% when inflation is 10-12%.”
“This crisis is entirely the fault of the Conservative Government which has declared war on public sector workers,” said Martin Mayer. “After 12 years of vicious pay restraint, to offer paltry single figure pay rises when inflation is between 10 and 13% is totally unacceptable and unreasonable – and the workers have had enough!”
“We cannot stand by and see this authoritarian Conservative Government further erode our right to strike” said Martin Mayer, “It’s time to end their unsustainable, unfair and unpopular pay restraint policy. We demand fully funded inflation-linked pay rises for all public sector workers.”