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100,000 civil servants vote to strike over pay

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
Civil servants have become the latest group to announce strike action over pay and conditions.

Around 100,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union have voted for industrial action.

The union is calling for a 10% pay rise, better pensions and job security, as well as protection for current redundancy terms.

It comes in the same week that UK nurses voted for strike action, for the first time in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)’s 106-year history.

Strikes have also been confirmed by a number of other workers including those in the rail industry, Royal Mail, BT, and Openreach.

In next week’s Autumn Statement, it’s rumoured that the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, will announce a 2% pay rise for public sector workers.

Strikes to be announced next week

The average number of workers to vote ‘yes’ for a strike was 86.2% which is the highest percentage since the PCS union was formed in 1998.

The legal turnout threshold for strike action of 50% was met in 126 different areas including those working in the Home Office, Department for Transport and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The PCS represents workers employed by several British government departments and 150,000 members were balloted.

Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, has written to the Cabinet Office to ask for negotiations on the union’s demands.

If “substantial proposals” aren’t received from the government, he said the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will agree to a programme of sustained industrial action when it meets on Friday 18 November.

“Enough is enough”

Serwotka said: “Civil servants have willingly and diligently played a vital role in keeping the country running during the pandemic but enough is enough.

“The stress of working in the civil service, under the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, job cuts and office closures means they’ve reached the end of their tethers.

“We are calling on the government to respond positively to our members’ demands. They have to give our members a 10% pay rise, job security, pensions justice and protected redundancy terms.”

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