Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/465/1804

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 November 2006

Fighting civil service job cuts

Vote 'yes' for national strike action

THE PCS National Executive Committee (NEC) has agreed to organise a national industrial action ballot in the new year as part of the campaign against job cuts and the imposition of below-inflation pay deals on civil service workers.

Mark Baker, PCS NEC, personal capacity

Gordon Brown's statement in June 2004 that he planned to cut over 100,000 civil service jobs and implement a series of so-called efficiency measures across the civil service has been met with a determined campaign from the left-led PCS NEC and general secretary.

National action in November 2004 forced the government to abandon plans to introduce unpaid sick leave and led to an agreement which compels all departments to take measures to avoid compulsory redundancies. Until this month it has done just that but the announcement of 27 compulsory redundancies in environment department DEFRA and the DTI show that the time is right to move to a further national ballot.

There have been a number of departmental campaigns, such as in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where eleven days strike action have been taken against job cuts and efficiency measures. In the HMRC (revenue and customs) a campaign has been waged against "lean processing" an attempt to bring so-called total quality management techniques into the department.

These measures are not about making the service more efficient - 21 million calls to DWP contact centres are going unanswered and only 50% of calls to Jobcentre plus are being returned within 24 hours.

Meanwhile the estimated official 'error overpayment' amounts on state pension payments have trebled in the last two years since 30,000 DWP jobs have been cut. HMRC have announced that hundreds of its local offices are to be closed and a further 12,500 jobs axed on top of those that have already gone. Yet the Department, seeking to save 105 million through staff cuts, has spent 106 million on management consultants. Rather than making these public services more efficient, it is priming them for privatisation.

Members are increasingly angry that in addition to being expected to work harder with fewer resources, their pay is being held down by public-sector pay restraint statements from Brown.

Pay disputes loom in ten government departments who have been offered below-inflation increases for many members.

Unlike Brown, PCS can't just announce a national response to a national announcement.

Britain's anti-union laws mean that we have to inform over 200 different "employers" that we are balloting. In order to maintain a sustained campaign, which allows us to organise various forms of action across departments, members have to vote 'yes' to two questions in a national ballot.

This will look to start with a one-day strike on 31 January 2007 followed by a two-week overtime ban. This allows time for PCS departmental groups to organise for appropriate action in their own areas which support the national campaign.

Of course, PCS remain committed to trying to achieve a negotiated settlement and have spent the last two years demonstrating our commitment to that.

But it is now increasingly clear that the government, whether it be led by Blair or Brown, are not interested in the valuable public services our members provide.

We will be campaigning hard over the next few weeks to ask members to vote 'yes' to action in the New Year and endorsement of a positive campaign of action on basic industrial demands - no compulsory redundancies, no cuts in pay and conditions, staffing levels which can deliver a good-quality public service.

PCS, with its socialist leadership, is leading the way in the defence of its members' terms and conditions.

We are also approaching other unions to give what support they can but also to step up the joint union Public Services NOT Private Profit campaign.

A vigorous multi-union campaign can force the government to retreat as action on pensions showed last year.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 29 November 2006:

Ripping the heart out of the NHS


Socialism 2006

Socialism 2006: "A brilliant and inspiring experience"

A world in struggle

Youth rally: Socialist ideas are the future

Closing rally: How to defend the NHS

Socialism 2006 - an unmissable event!

Finance appeal - 30,873.44!


Workplace news and analysis

Vote 'yes' for national strike action

Fighting and striking, on all fronts

Glasgow council workers prepare to strike


Socialist Party news and analysis

Socialists fight Labour's attacks

Costs soar while communities ignored

Bosses' tax moans threaten cuts

Top cops say: "Protest but don't offend anyone"


International socialist news and analysis

Gemayel killing fuels political tensions

Gaza: How long will the ceasefire last?

Hundreds of thousands gather to inaugurate Lopez Obrador

Sri Lanka protest

Australia - Big increase in votes for Socialist Party in Richmond

Dutch Socialist Party makes sensational election gains


Socialist Party review

Leon Trotsky's Transitional Programme


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 November 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Strike:

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleRefuse collection workers strike

triangleBexley binworkers' strike wins sick pay from day one

trianglePostal workers deliver massive strike vote

Civil Service:

triangleShould the Socialist still be produced during the Corona crisis? An exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

triangleMore than ever, we need accountable union leaders

trianglePCS union relaunches pay campaign

triangleRenewing the left in PCS

PCS:

triangleUnsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

triangleAn exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

triangleCivil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak

DWP:

triangleDWP: Action on workers' safety, and protection of pay and conditions needed

triangleFight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

HMRC:

trianglePCS: "Under the right leadership workers are prepared to fight"

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

18/5/20

Coronavirus

Communities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

18/5/20

Coronavirus

Contract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

18/5/20

Coronavirus

Parents - Organise against 'back to school' plans that threaten everyone's safety

13/5/20

West Midlands

West Midlands trade union activists discuss the battle for safety on the front line

13/5/20

RMT

Transport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

13/5/20

Boris Johnson

Johnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

13/5/20

Housing

Starmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999