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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010

Civil servants on strike on 8 and 9 March

Fighting for jobs, services & conditions

Anti-cuts cartoon by Suz, photo Suz

Anti-cuts cartoon by Suz, photo Suz   (Click to enlarge)

The government is going ahead with its plans to rip up the civil service compensation scheme (redundancy protection pay for civil servants). But members of the PCS civil servants' union have voted for strike action to oppose the changes.

Nick Parker, PCS member

The government's plans would mean many staff losing tens of thousands of pounds if they are made redundant. The government is looking to 'save' 500 million by doing this, but only on the basis of cutting tens of thousands of civil service jobs. Imagine the devastating effect that job cuts on this scale will have on vulnerable people in our society who rely on these services.

64% of members who voted chose to strike, and 81% voted for a ban on overtime. This was despite a massive anti-strike propaganda campaign by senior managers. The millionaire-owned media often tries to portray civil servants as under-worked, over-paid, and having cushy jobs with massive pensions. If you have been into an over-crowded Jobcentre in the last couple of years, you'll know there is no truth in this.

Many people working on the frontline only get paid about 15,000 a year. While this is more than the miserly minimum wage, it is less than the amount that New Labour MP Elliott Morley claimed for a mortgage that didn't exist! And it is about the same as Fred Goodwin (failed ex-boss of Royal Bank of Scotland) is rewarded each week by the taxpayer for his part in destroying the economy!

Frontline civil servants provide a much more important service to society than fat-cat bankers. But compare Fred 'the Shred's' pension with that of an average civil servant who gets a pension of no more than 10,000 a year and very often a lot less.

If the government is successful in its plans to cut the redundancy scheme, it will mean that our public services are more likely to be privatised. Private companies want to make as much money as possible, and they will try to do this by getting rid of staff and reducing services. This will be easier if redundancy protection is cut.

United struggle

The trade union movement has an old saying - an injury to one is an injury to all. Workers from across the public and private sectors, as well as unemployed people, pensioners and students need to unite together to oppose the cuts agenda.

The alternative is a 'race to the bottom' in services and working conditions, leaving only under-staffed and over-crowded offices or call centres, and insecure, temporary, low-paid jobs with minimal or no sick, holiday and pension rights. We cannot let this happen.

Come to government offices on the strike days and give your support to workers on picket lines taking action.

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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.

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In The Socialist 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts


Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students


International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations


Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison

Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership


The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist


Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Media

Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Football

Supporters should own Pompey, not developers


Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


 

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