Public sector pay battle 2007-8

Jobs fight: London Underground, media

As we go to press workers on London Underground are balloting over strike action to defend job cuts and pay.

London Underground is cutting more than a thousand jobs in administration grades. Transport for London is due to cut around three and a half thousand jobs over the next eighteen months.

At the same time London Underground have made an offer of a five-year pay deal — RPI plus one percent in the first year and then RPI only for the next four years. That is an effective pay cut.

Probation Service: Build support for a ballot

PROBATION SERVICE: Probation areas up and down the country are facing huge cuts in government funding. Redundancies are already on the cards in several areas along with attacks on terms and conditions.

Stop these job cuts! Cut work hours, Expand public services!


Gerry Bates

According to the bosses’ Confederation of British Industry unemployment will reach 2.9 million by 2010 — an unemployment rate of about 9 percent — up from 1.8 million now. That is nearly as high as the figure reached under the Tories in 1982 and 1992.

Why the teachers didn’t strike


Pat Murphy

In a recent ballot organised by the National Union of Teachers for discontinuous strike action, 29.7% of eligible members took part and of these 51.7% supported strike action with 48.3% voting against. At an Executive meeting on 6 November we were provided with regional and association (branch) breakdowns of results. In my opinion this made our decision a lot clearer. Together with all but three Executive members I voted to accept the recommendation that we do not proceed to call action. Here are the main reasons why:

PCS leaders' explanation for calling off the 10 November strike


A PCS activist

This is the full text of the PCS leadership's explanation to union reps of why the 10 November strike was called off.

PCS suspends national industrial action over pay

The PCS national executive committee met this morning and following their receipt of a letter from Sir Gus O'Donnell, head of the home civil service, have decided to suspend the industrial action planned from Monday 10 November and the overtime ban proposed to commence on Tuesday 11 November.

The SWP in PCS


A PCS activist

The Socialist Workers Party has three members on the NEC as part of the Left Unity slate – Sue Bond, one of the National Vice Presidents, Andy Reid, and Paul Williams.

Paul Williams is a serious trade union militant who AWL supporters suspect was placed on the NEC slate to stiffen the backbone of the SWP NEC members (for instance the then SWP NEC members, including Sue Bond, had supported the calling off the planned jobs, pay and pensions strike in 2005).

PCS leaders' record on action for national pay

In November 2004 PCS members struck in support of six demands, including national pay. Yet pay never featured in the propaganda for the dispute.

Similarly, in 2005, members were balloted on a number of demands – including jobs and pay - but were then told the planned strike, called off for the “two tier” pensions deal, was really only ever about pensions (and frankly pay again did not really feature in the membership bulletins).

PCS leaders' record on national pay negotiations


A PCS activist

In 2005 the PCS leadership said, “We have persuaded the Government to introduce a fairer, more coherent pay system…” It was typical of the spin that has come to characterise the PCS’s would-be Marxist leadership.

The politics of the PCS's dispute over national civil service pay


A PCS activist

The PCS national dispute is a necessary strike against a gratuitous government pay policy that is squeezing public sector workers at a time of sharply rising costs. It is a fight we have to win if civil servants are not to have their living standards slashed this year and in coming years.

PCS backdown was a mistake


A PCS activist

The PCS National Executive Committee's decision to "suspend" the national civil service one day strike planned for Monday 10 November is at best a dreadful mistake. Or it may be a prelude to abandoning the action, possibly on the pretext of some relatively minor concession.

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