Socialist Worker

PCS meets to mull next move

Issue No. 2055

The PCS civil service workers' union was set to hold a special national executive meeting on Friday of this week to discuss the union's campaign over pay and against job losses.

PCS executive member Paul Williams told Socialist Worker, 'At all levels of the union we are discussing how we can build a strategy that can win over pay and jobs.

'We are talking about how we can organise united action with other public sector workers to break the pay freeze.

'The CWU union's strike vote has given people a real boost. I was at the Midlands regional PCS committee on Thursday of last week and we passed support for the CWU and agreed to initiate joint meetings wherever possible.'

The union's group executive for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) also met last week. Group executive member Dave Owens said, 'The DWP is the only government department to be given a remit to negotiate on pay by the treasury.

'It is clear the government would like to force an early settlement in the biggest government department to try to undermine the national campaign. This cannot be allowed to happen.'

Steve West, also a member of the DWP group executive and a PCS steward in the Child Support Agency in Gordon Brown's constituency of Kirkcaldy, told Socialist Worker, 'We met last week just as DWP boss Leigh Lewis was talking up the threat of compulsory redundancies in the department.

'This is on top of 26 rural job centres that are currently facing closure and thousands of DWP jobs that have already gone. There's increasing anger across the civil service over what's happening to our services.

'Our group executive agreed to back a demonstration in Kirkcaldy on the day that Brown takes office to link up with other unions in the area.'

One of the DWP offices facing closure is the Christchurch Job Centre Plus office in Dorset. The PCS branch voted unanimously last week to strike against the closure, combined with a campaign of public meetings.

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Tue 12 Jun 2007, 19:56 BST
Issue No. 2055
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