48-hour strike starts today for civil servants

| March 8, 2010 | 0 Comments

Up to 270,000 civil servants are to stage a 48-hour national strike today in a dispute over redundancy pay.

The walkout involves job centre staff, tax workers, coastguards, border agency officials, courts staff and driving test examiners.

If a satisfactory outcome is not reached then further strike action could take place later this month, according to the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union.

The PCS union said the cuts, which are planned for April, are illegal and said that changes to redundancy and compensation arrangements will see staff “robbed” of up to a third of their entitlements.

According to PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka: “These cuts, which will see loyal civil and public servants lose tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of a job, are more about crude politicking than making savings.”

Mr Serwotka said they have suggested ways in which the Government can make these savings but the Government said the changes will save £500 million in taxpayers’ money.

“The Government needs to recognise the depth of anger which has been demonstrated by this ballot result and find the political will to negotiate a settlement that avoids a sustained campaign of industrial action,” added Mr Serwotka.

The walkout is set to be the biggest demonstration of industrial unrest in the civil service since the late 1980s.

Cabinet Office minister, Tessa Jowell, described the decision to take industrial action as “very disappointing”, particularly as “less than one in five” of PCS members voted in favour of the action - the equivalent of one tenth of the entire civil service workforce.

Tags: , , dispute, illegal, , PCS, , ,

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