Socialist Worker

Fighting cuts in the civil service

by Andy Reid and Sue Bond PCS national executive (pc)
Issue No. 2164

The government plans to slash redundancy and early retirement payments for all civil and public service workers from January next year.

This is an outrageous attempt to get rid of long-serving staff on the cheap, at a time when thousands of jobs are at risk.

These proposals will remove much of the protection from arbitrary enforced redundancy that has enabled the PCS union to insist that that management negotiate seriously when members’ livelihoods are threatened.

Until now, the Compensation Scheme, which determines entitlement to redundancy pay, has slowed down redundancies and office closures.

It ensures that threatened members must be offered at least one suitable alternative vacancy.

It has done much to counter the climate of fear that some departmental managers had been creating.

While we are still suffering job losses we have been able to offer some very real protection to members.

Now the government wants to make it far easier and cheaper to sack people, massively cutting the compensation that they would receive if their jobs were destroyed or moved out of reach.

Labour is making it much easier for an incoming Tory administration to launch further assaults on jobs and services—and also making privatisation far more profitable and attractive to the circling sharks.

The PCS National Executive Committee (NEC), following clear conference policy, has already stated that the changes are unacceptable.

The task now is to use the period of statutory consultation to explain the impact and motive of these proposals to members and the need to take action against them.

We need to re-forge unity across the public sector, from supporting the CWU union in their forthcoming national dispute, to building the biggest possible demonstration at Labour’s conference on 27 September.

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Article information

Tue 11 Aug 2009, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2164
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