Gordon Brown’s 2 percent public sector pay policy will come under renewed assault as over 8,500 workers in the Department for Transport were set to strike against his plans on Friday of this week.
The strike by members of the PCS civil service workers’ union will hit the Driving Standards Agency that delivers driving tests, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Highways Agency that controls motorway and traffic flows, the Vehicle Certification Agency and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
This Friday is the busiest time for the DVLA as it is the day of new car registrations.
We know we are part of a much bigger fight. Driving examiners in France are also in dispute and solidarity will be seen on both sides of the channel.
A number of other civil service departments in Britain are coming into dispute over Gordon Brown’s 2 percent public sector pay limit.
Over 80,000 PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions are to strike on 17 and 18 March.
Workers in the Acas negotiating service, coastguards and the Metropolitan Police are balloting for action over pay, while staff at the Science Museum have overwhelmingly voted to strike.
While there are seven different bargaining units in the Department for Transport they all faced a deal of 2 percent or less.
With inflation running at around 4 percent this means a cut in pay, after already enduring a pay freeze for two years.
Following the strike on Friday, the union will impose a seven-day overtime ban. We are also looking at taking other actions – including further strikes – over the next three months as a way of keeping up the pressure on the bosses and the New Labour government.
We want something to be happening every day, affecting different sections.
We also want to coordinate action in the future with other departments to intensify the impact of the action.
The national union should be calling a strike involving the whole of the membership as part of our long-running dispute over job cuts, low pay and privatisation.
This should be coordinated with the teachers and lecturers’ strikes if possible.
Civil service workers from departments and agencies in disputes over pay will also be descending on parliament on Tuesday 11 March.