PCS members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will strike again on 7, 8, 11, and 12 November. These are members working in facilities management, employed by outsourced contractor Interserve.
We want Interserve to meet certain demands, including recognising the union; guaranteeing company sick pay; and reversing cuts in hours, but ultimately we want these workers to be employed directly on the same terms and conditions as all other civil servants.
We are also working closely with the United Voices of the World union, which has members in the Ministry of Justice and Royal Parks, which are civil service workplaces. Workers there have struck recently and we’ve promoted those strikes, and encouraged fundraising for the UVW strike fund.
We want to continue and deepen that relationship, which we feel provides an important alternative way of working to the hostility that’s sometimes characterised the relationship between TUC-affiliated unions and the smaller non-TUC unions like UVW and IWGB.
The union is gearing up for the general election by mobilising members in constituencies in England and Wales to campaign for Labour. We have a clear position that we want to see a Labour government, and will be explicitly calling for a Labour vote in England and Wales, but we don’t want that to be a passive expression of support, so it’s important we mobilise members to campaign.
We also want to put demands on Labour, to ensure they implement policies we support. PCS has a radical environmental policy, including net zero carbon emissions by 2030. That’s now largely in line with policy passed at Labour conference but we want to hold Labour to account to ensure these policies are implemented if Labour gets into government.
We’ll also be pressing Labour on our central industrial demands. Our policy for civil service pay is for a 10% increase, with a flat-rate minimum for the lowest paid, and pay equalisation across the civil service. We’re also demanding an increased staffing level, which might mean 25,000 additional jobs in the DWP, the biggest section of the civil service. These are demands we’ll press whoever wins the election.