Socialist Worker

£30 billion in cuts in civil service

Issue No. 2073

Over 250,000 civil service workers in the PCS union are balloting over whether to take further industrial action.

Not only is their pay being held at 2 percent but £30 billion in cuts is being demanded to improve “efficiency” over the next three years.

Worst hit will be the Department for Work and Pensions, which will be expected to take a further 5 percent in year-on-year cuts – equivalent to over £1.2 billion annually

Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, said, “Services are already being cut to the bone.

“The so-called efficiency agenda has already resulted in the spiralling use of consultants, backlogs of post in customs, as well as delays in people getting help back into work and the

closure of over 500 job centres and benefit offices.”

He added, “These additional cuts confirmed today will lead to 25,000 jobs going in Customs by 2011 and puts at serious risk the government’s ability to deliver on key priorities.”

The ballot result is set to be announced on Tuesday of next week.

Over 200 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union demonstrated in central London on Friday of last week against the compulsory transfer to the private sector of ten staff who worked for the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) at Caxton House.

In a huge show of support, workers marched from Caxton House in Westminster, to a rally at the Emmanuel Centre.

The transfer of the staff who work in the mailroom and security comes as the DfES splits into two departments and moves across the road.

The ten remaining staff have been told that they “service” Caxton House and will be retained by the Department of Work and Pensions.

However the work that the support staff cover has been privatised in the DWP and they now face being transferred to either Haden or Group 4.

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