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The biggest strike ballot of the year is being launched today which could see potentially up to 150,000 workers walk out this summer.
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members across the civil service and related areas will be balloted until July 23rd with the union recommending a huge yes vote.
The union is seeking a strong mandate for strike action in order to negotiate a good pay rise for its members.

At the moment, ministers have kept in place a de-facto 1 percent pay cap for our members in key government departments whereas they have lifted the pay cap for NHS staff and some local government workers.
In recent talks cabinet office officials admitted to union negotiators that they were using 2015 spending budgets to calculate pay, meaning that only a 1 percent pay rise would be available to civil service staff, unless individual government departments found savings through job cuts and other ‘efficiencies.’
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members have been singled out amongst public sector workers. The de- facto one percent pay cap remains in place and we are absolutely disgusted at the government for misleading the union.
“Ministers gave us assurances earlier in the year that hard working government staff would be rewarded for all the issues they have had to face up to.
“Instead they are being offered a paltry one percent pay increase when they have had to cope with job cuts, Brexit and issues as difficult as Universal Credit and the Windrush scandal.”
Mr Serwotka went on to add that the union was balloting its members until July 23rd where it expects an overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote for action.
He added: “We will use the mandate we get from our members to press the government for a meaningful pay rise. But they should be in no doubt that if they fail to deliver the goods, we will deliver the biggest strike of the year in summer.
“Our members feel they have no other option left to them. We want a negotiated settlement but we are prepared for a period of sustained action if the government doesn’t offer its hardworking staff a meaningful pay rise.”
If strike action goes ahead, it will be the biggest walkout by the union since 2011 when it was involved in a pensions’ dispute.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka comment on National Audit Office Report on Universal Credit Roll Out

"Universal credit has been a disaster from the beginning. It is based on the false notion that public services must shrink and that those on benefits were to blame for Britain’s financial problems. The NAO report today confirms what PCS members have been saying since the roll out began.

The chaos of universal credit is having a shocking impact on the staff delivering the programme too. Workers in the DWP are under huge pressure and are suffering due to the turmoil created by the Government.

Let’s be clear: the blame for this chaos lies with the Tories. Their hostile and aggressive approach means that workers in the DWP are treated almost as badly as benefit claimants. Today’s report is yet more evidence that the Government should heed our call and suspend the roll out of universal credit immediately.

Reacting to the announcement that the Metropolitan Police are opening an investigation into the use of the stay put policy at the Grenfell Tower fire Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

“Grenfell firefighters were dealing with an unprecedented situation that nobody had prepared for and that they should never have had to face. Every decision made during that time will come under scrutiny in the inquiry. We will not pre-judge. But this should not be allowed to divert attention from the real cause of the level of destruction which is that the fire safety measures within the building were utterly inadequate and completely failed. A key factor in this is that the government and local council gave priority to saving money over protecting people.”

RMT Special General Meeting agrees to align union towards Labour and encourage its members to be active in the party whilst remaining unaffiliated

Following a consultation with union Branches and Regional Councils a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the RMT has today agreed to a recommendation from the unions National Executive committee to align the RMT towards the Labour Party and encourage its 80,000 plus members to be active in the Labour Party, whilst remaining unaffiliated.

The SGM also adopted a recommendation from the NEC that will allow the unions 200 plus Branches and Regional Councils to use their political funds to back Labour at elections, whilst Labour continues to support key RMT policies on transport and trade union rights.

RMT Branches are also to be encouraged to develop relations with local Labour Parties.

The Special General Meeting also agreed that the union should consider what other steps it can take to support, defend, and develop the socialist advances that have been made within the Labour Party.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;0

“Our consultation has shown that the views of our Branches and Regions are finely balanced and the SGM has decided that whilst we do not support affiliation at this current time there is the potential for the union to affiliate to the Labour Party at a future date if there is clearer support for this. Many of our members have also reacted angrily to constant attempts by a hard core of Labour MPs to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and the radical progressive changes he has made to Labour.

"In contrast there is a clear desire amongst RMT members to support Jeremy Corbyn and the left leadership of the Labour Party and that is why we are now be putting in place other concrete steps to throw the weight of the RMT behind supporting the socialist advances that have been made in the Labour Party, this will include aligning ourselves towards Labour, encouraging members to be active in Labour and allowing our Branches and Regions to fund Labour candidates."

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THE FIREFIGHTERS' DILEMMA

TUCG: MARK SERWOTKA ON THE FIGHT AGAINST AUSTERITY

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BOOK: COST OF LIVING CRISIS

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Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

 

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