Socialist Worker

Scottish civil service workers strike against low pay

Issue No. 2113

Some 5,000 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union at the Scottish government and Registers of Scotland struck on Thursday of last week over a below-inflation pay offer.

The strike is over Scottish National Party finance secretary John Swinney’s decision to cap pay rises at 2 percent while inflation is much higher.

The union’s members responded in huge numbers to the strike call.

The strike was particularly strong in the big centres of government work in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Eddie Reilly, PCS Scottish secretary, said, “It is clear from all of the detailed reports from picket lines that we are in a position to assert a 95 percent turnout for the strike.

“It’s time for first minister Alex Salmond and Swinney to come out of hiding and face up to their own workers.

“They have adopted the same pay policy as Westminster to hold back public sector pay increases to 2 percent with inflation now running at 4.6 percent.

“Their miserly pay offer to our members who earn £16,000 per year means a pay increase of only £4.20 per week. Low paid workers won’t accept that.”

PCS members in both departments now have an overtime ban and work-to-rule.

The action could escalate with other groups of PCS members, particularly in the Scottish Court Service and the Procurator Fiscal Service about to be balloted to take part in future strikes.

PCS members could also join striking Scottish local government workers on 20 August.

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Tue 5 Aug 2008, 17:37 BST
Issue No. 2113
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