PCS – All out to defend jobs & services

Defend the Civil Service Compensation Scheme The decision by PCS members to take industrial action on the 8th and 9th of March and to impose a national overtime ban is a clear message that they will stick together to secure an acceptable settlement that defends their contractual rights under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

The government wants to tear up the contracts in order to push through job cuts and privatisation on the cheap. This is an effort to make civil servants and working people in general pay for the economic mess caused by the banks; it’s as simple as that. 

PCS’s hard negotiating stance based on members’ support has already delivered concessions but they do not give the level of protection needed; proposed changes to the scheme would mean:

  • All civil service jobs under greater threat of redundancy.
  • Services more likely to be privatised, with less protection for members.
  • Members with longer service face the loss of entitlements of up to a third, potentially tens of thousands of pounds.
  • Members over 50 losing rights to enhanced pensions.
  • Less generous voluntary severance packages.

The government claim they want to save money on redundancy packages, but the answer is simple – don’t make workers delivering vital services redundant: don’t close 200 tax offices and get rid of 25,000 tax workers when uncollected, avoided and evaded tax is running at £130bn a year.

Our communities need these services and they certainly need the jobs – it is the economics of the madhouse to cut public sector jobs in the midst of a recession. The government wants to be seen to be hard on civil servants “feather-bedded” terms and conditions. The truth is the overwhelming mass of civil servants are hard-working, lowly paid workers whose commitment to the communities in which they live and work and to which they deliver vital services should be treated with respect rather than denigrated by the government and the press. 

Defend The Civil Service Compensation Scheme
Labour is ideologically committed to attacking the public sector in order to allow big business an opportunity to use the recession to cut jobs and cherry-pick services for privatisation. At the same time as they go on about the “unaffordability” of public spending the government and the rest of the political establishment, including the press, tamely watch the bankers yet again wallow in obscene bonuses and profits after being bailed out by the taxpayer, i.e., working people.

PCS members have seen through this nonsense and by voting for strike action and an overtime ban are sending a clear message to the government that they will fight to defend their terms and conditions.

PCS is also taking legal action and a judicial review is to be heard in March. Whatever the courts say this dispute will be settled by members sticking together and making the two-day strike on 8th and 9th of March, that opens the industrial action campaign, a huge success.

PCS wants a negotiated settlement but only on the basis of an improved offer that defends members’ rights – if not, then the strike goes ahead and will be followed by more action and disruption throughout March.  The leadership of PCS, in which Socialist Party members play a key role has shown there is an alternative to bowing the knee in the face of the on-going assault on the public sector and working people generally. Campaigning works and action gets results.

By sticking together deals were secured on pensions and jobs. By sticking together in this campaign a settlement can be secured that defends members contracts and which can protect all members’ interests.

Previous Article

China - Women's struggle then and now

Next Article

100th International Women’s Day

Related Posts

Unison general secretary election – Prentis vote falls despite Con-Dem attacks

As reported in last week's Socialist, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis was re-elected to his position in the recent ballot, but with fewer votes than when he last stood in 2005.

The drop in votes for Dave Prentis was in the region of 21%, disproportionate to the fall in the turn-out in the election, from 16% to 14.6%, and is despite the fact that the election took place after the general election, when the threat of the Con-Dem attacks on public sector workers might have been expected to rally Unison members behind the union and its leadership.

Child abuse scandal: Separate church and state

Over the course decades thousands of young children were to suffer horrific sexual abuse at the hands of members of the Catholic clergy around the world while their superiors sought to systematically cover up these crimes.

In the past few weeks it has been revealed that Cardinal Sean Brady himself forced two young boys to swear an oath of secrecy to prevent them from revealing the abuse that they had suffered at the hands of the notorious paedophile Father Brendan Smyth.


Fight the Assembly’s privatisation agenda

 The Socialist can reveal plans by the Assembly to privatise public services leading to billions of taxpayers money being given away to private companies, cuts to services and attacks on workers rights and conditions.

By Owen McCracken

In its first 10 years of existence, the Assembly has handed over a staggering £1.3 billion of Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts to private companies. If the Assembly gets its way the role of PPP in Northern Ireland is set to grow significantly, with Professor Allyson Pollock of the Centre for International Health Policy predicting a massive future bill in excess of £10 billion after contracts currently in the pipeline are signed. Since this February alone, more than £90 million has been spent on outsourcing contracts, mostly to private consultancy firms - a massive waste of public funds. (See below).

Keep the BNP off the BBC

Protest - 5.30pm Thursday 15th October, BBC Broadcasting House, Ormeau Ave, Belfast

Download the poster

The BBC have offered the BNP a platform on Question Time. The far-right BNP won 2 seats in the recent European elections. This party is attempting to develop a respectable image, but their core is out-right fascism. Their founder called Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ his ‘Bible’ and Nick Griffin, the current leader, regularly denied the Holocaust.

Television workers union backs Belfast protest against BBC invitation to BNP

Should fascists be allowed free speech? By Mick Barry, Youth Against Racism in Europe (1993)