PCS

Vote Left Unity, keep up the pressure for national action

By a Civil Servant PCS members in the DWP, Prison Services, Treasury Solicitors and the Office of National Statistics are still fighting pay disputes arising from the 2003 pay round, with no resolution in sight. Yet these disputes are just a forerunner of what could happen in the 2004 pay round. The union has now submitted a national pay claim for 2004 (the first national pay claim since delegated bargaining began), and therefore the whole of the national union should be mobilising to fight for pay this year. We say "should be" and not "will be", as the National Executive (NEC) elections begin...

Ian Row 1945 - 2004

Ian Row was a committed fighter for working-class people in Hackney. His sudden death from cancer of the oesophagus has shocked and saddened all those that knew him. Aside from his trade union activity (as a GMB shop steward whilst working for Thames Water in the Tottenham / Walthamstow area and a PCS rep in the Benefits Agency in Hackney), Ian was an active member of the Hackney Tenants' and Residents' Federation since its formation, and was Secretary of the Trelawney Estate Tenants' and Residents' Association. Ian was a Labour Councillor between 1986 - 1990 and was not afraid to take a stand...

Civil service: We need a national dispute!

By a Civil Servant On 13 and 14 April tens of thousands of PCS members in the DWP and the Office For National Statistics will be on strike over pay. In the last few months there has been strike action in the Treasury Solicitors, the Courts and the Home Office. In June 2003 the Treasury clamped down on pay in the civil service and decreed that no pay increase would be worth more than 3.5%. The results of this clamp down are still being played out in 2004 - all the recent strike action concerns last year's pay round!. The Treasury has made it clear that 2004 will be another year of "pay...

Rank-and-file fight needed on job cuts

The Lyons report, just published, proposes to abolish 20,000 Civil Service posts in London and the South-East by 2009. The Gershon review looking for "efficiency" savings across the public sector is due to report in the coming weeks. According to press leaks, it is looking to get rid of 80,000 jobs by 2011. The Budget on 17 March included a plan to cut 30,000 jobs in the Department of Work and Pensions, and ban permanent recruitment to DWP indefinitely. While it is unclear how this commitment relates to Gershon, the DWP is already being shrunk 4 or 5% a year by natural wastage everywhere. The...

What next in pay battle?

The Department of Work and Pensions PCS reps' meeting on 6 March discussed the action against the pay freeze. The exec's only proposal was to continue with action short of strike action, and to have a three-day strike after Easter. No strategy to win the dispute was outlined, and no further plans were mentioned. The GEC appears to believe that escalation of the dispute is simply a matter of taking people out on strike for more days than last time. At the beginning of the meeting some of us successfully made the point that more time had to be given to discussing further strike action. The...

Unite against the Treasury limit!

The strike action at the DWP and Driving Standards Agency on 16 and 17 February was a wonderful display of solidarity. It showed just how wrong the majority on the PCS Executive of the DWP was in calling off the strikes planned for the 29 and 30 January. With thousands of non-members also joining the union, there can be no doubting the desire of DWP members to win this dispute. The Group Executive Committee now needs to develop a strategy that builds on that membership feeling but does not leap ahead of it, that causes the maximum disruption to management whilst being difficult to plan against...

Civil Service: Biggest strike for ten years

By Gerry Bates Civil service workers staged their biggest strike for a decade on 16 and 17 February, stopping work in the Department of Work and Pensions and the Driving Standards Agency to demand better pay. Despite the loss of momentum because the PCS union's DWP Group Executive Committee postponed the action from its initial date of 29-30 January and thus broke the link with other sections such as the Department of Constitutional Affairs, the strike was extremely strong. The union has now called a work to rule in the DWP, and is holding a meeting of branch delegates in Leeds on 6 March to...

PCS pay dispute bulletin for 16/02/04

AWL bulletin for PCS pay dispute, 16 February 2004 Unite across departments Form a national strike committee Download as pdf. Without any doubt the magnificent response from branches up and down the country, on hearing of the suspension of strike action on 29th and 30th January, pressurised the DWP Group Executive Committee into calling the two days of strike action on 16th and 17th February. This demonstrates the need for the active involvement of branches and members in the day-to-day running of the dispute and holding the GEC to account. The Union has called a meeting of one delegate from...

We need more action on Civil Service pay

By a civil servant On 29 and 30 January four small departments in the civil service took strike action in support of pay claims: the Department of Constitutional Affairs, the Prison Service, the Home Office, and the Treasury Solicitor's Department. Workers in those departments took solid action, for the most part, but were very disappointed that workers in the much larger Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), who were also due to come out, suspended their action. The strikers were left feeling isolated. On the day before the strike action was due to take place, the Executive Committee of the...

PCS DWP: learn from FBU experience!

This text can also be downloaded as a pdf here. The decision of the Dept for Work and Pensions Group Executive Committee of the PCS union to suspend for two weeks the strike action planned for 29-30 January, and the work to rule due to follow, in order to allow discussions on the "improved" offer and the new PDS appraisal system beggars belief, especially when you look at the fine detail of the improved offer. The reality is that most members will be better off to the tune of £60 per year. The GEC have squandered a golden opportunity to try and take some of the ground back from management. As...

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