Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2008

Striking against low pay

PCS workers on strike. Mark Serwotka, (top row, third from left) joins strikers, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS workers on strike. Mark Serwotka, (top row, third from left) joins strikers, photo Paul Mattsson

On 10 November, tens of thousands of government workers will be on strike. This is the next stage of the campaign by civil service union PCS members to defend their jobs, their standard of living and the vital services that they provide.

Marion Lloyd, PCS national executive, personal capacity

Front page news has recently been dominated by the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand affair, taking the spotlight off the crisis in the world economy. But workers generally, and PCS members in particular, are continuing to feel the brunt of the credit crunch and the continual rises in living costs.

PCS members will send a message, telling the government that we will not pay for their economic crisis. If they can find the cash to bail out the banks, they can find money to fund a 5% pay rise to enable their own workforce to pay for the ever-increasing cost of living.

The hypocrisy of the government is never-ending. At a time when nearly 500 billion has been made available to prop up the banking system, Gordon Brown's pay restraint continues to eat into real wages for civil service workers - more than 25% of PCS members earn less than 16,000 a year.

At a time when the government can find money to pay their top civil servants massive bonuses, they impose pay cuts on the hard-working men and women who deliver vital services to the public. Some of our members earn only 13p above the minimum wage.

Gus O'Donnell, the head of the civil service, calls for pay restraint because of the economic crisis. Yet he draws his 260,000 wage, receives bonuses far in excess of the annual wage of many of our members and looks forward to a pension of more than 145,000 a year.

Meanwhile, government ministers are lording it, able to claim in expenses such things as a new bathroom at 6,335, a new kitchen at 20,000, a suite of furniture at 2,000 and a wardrobe costing 700. This, when many of their own workers can barely find money to pay for the bare necessities such as rent, fuel, food and clothes. What an indictment of 21st century Britain!

What's more, they import their friends from big business into highly paid civil service jobs, telling public-sector workers that private-sector methods are better.

The current economic crisis tells us what utter nonsense this is. It is now absolutely plain that these pro-big business, failed policies have blighted the lives of millions of public sector workers and the public we serve.

On 10 November, workers from job centres, tax offices, courts, the prison service, coastguards, driving and vehicle licence centres, passport office workers and many more, will stand together. We will be united, defending our right to a decently paid job and defending the services we deliver.

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 4 November 2008:

Striking against low pay

US election

Obama wins, neo-cons routed in US presidential elections

George Bush's toxic legacy

If Obama wins - Looking beyond the hope bubble

Socialist Party campaigns

Labour bashes lone parents

Canary Wharf: Low paid workers welcome socialist campaigners

Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression

What recession?

Fast news

Marxist analysis: history

1918 revolution: When German workers entered the stage of history

Socialist Students

New Labour retreats on promises to students

Victory over Tory school closure plan

Austria: Socialist players suspended from football club for anti-fascist activities

Year 9 SATs abolished: Now get rid of the rest!

Republic of Ireland: Student fightback

Socialist Party workplace news

Liverpool City Council: Housing maintenance workers fight for jobs

Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry

Shipyard strike for fair wage

Striking for trade union rights

Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'


Home   |   The Socialist 4 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleTate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

trianglePCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

triangleTate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"

triangleVote Yes in DWP ballot! Reject longer opening hours

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

Low pay:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleWest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleSouth West London Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleSouth East London Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care


triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

Civil Service:

trianglePCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

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

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed


Young people

Covid generation says 'fund our future'



Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges



Angry health workers demand 15% now!



Reinstate Richie Venton



Reinstate Tony Smith



Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally



London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute



Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out



PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC


Socialist Party

Two weeks to donate: we need your help


Black Lives Matter

BLM: Socialist alternative to racist capitalism



Fight Amazon's anti-union spies

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 075 4018 9052

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



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020