PCS: Formal backing for 250,000 civil servants to join 30 November strike

Formal backing for more than a quarter of a million civil and public servants to join a public sector-wide strike on 30 November puts the Public and Commercial Services union on a "war footing".

Meeting today (29) the union's national executive committee endorsed the date as the next national strike following the successful action PCS took on 30 June alongside teachers and lecturers. It will be followed by a one-month overtime ban.

At a previous meeting ahead of the TUC annual congress, PCS's NEC had agreed to co-ordinate strike action with other unions and said it was looking at dates in November.

The union is also considering the potential for taking more targeted and selective industrial action alongside any taken nationally, and each employer area of the union is drawing up campaign plans focusing on their specific issues.

Following announcements at TUC congress earlier this month, the government now faces the prospect of a strike by up to three million public sector workers – the largest in UK history.

As well as having their pay frozen with inflation above 5%, public sector workers face their pensions being raided to help pay off the budget deficit caused by the recession and the bank bail-out.

The government continues to refuse to negotiate on its plans to force public servants to work longer and pay more for less in retirement.

Because of media scrutiny around the 30 June strike, ministers have had to ditch their misleading claims that public sector pensions are unaffordable, and they now cite the 'unfairness' of the divide between public and private sector pensions. Unions say this is a false distinction and are calling for 'fair pensions for all'.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Our union and others across the public sector are now on a war footing to prepare for what would be the biggest strike in UK history.

"If ministers continue to dig their heels in they will face industrial action by three million civil servants, health workers, teachers and other public servants that will not just last one day, but will be sustained for weeks and months.

"We believe we will continue to enjoy public support because we are not only fighting for the public sector, we are campaigning for fair pensions for all."

ENDS

Notes

– For information and interview requests contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216

– The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has around 290,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich – on Twitter @janicegodrich

– Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union