Socialist Worker

Into battle to stop the cuts

by Kate Douglas, civil service worker
Issue No. 2191

The Greek spirit of resistance will come to Britain next week when hundreds of thousands of civil service workers strike for two days.

Around 270,000 PCS union members are to strike on Monday and Tuesday against the government’s plans to cut our redundancy payments, so that it can sack us cheaply and more easily.

Our fight is about job cuts and privatisation. The government wants to pave the way to mass job losses and selling off services.

The PCS is fighting to defend the public services ordinary people rely on.

We provide services to the unemployed and pensioners, collect tax from the rich, work in galleries and museums, and look after the environment, among other vital things.

Civil service staff are already overworked and can’t provide a proper service to the public. Thousands of job cuts are being made, with more to come.

The cuts to our redundancy payments would also allow greedy private companies to come in and run services. This would mean less security, lower pay and a worse service for the public. In some cases charities and trusts are getting payments for pushing unemployed people into unsuitable work.

More cuts to public services will mean more of this kind of treatment for ordinary people. Governments across the world are squeezing workers to pay for the crisis that they and the bankers caused.

The attack on civil service workers here is the first shot in a war that will intensify after the general election, whoever wins.

We won’t accept that. And I’m glad that we’re striking alongside 1,000 PCS members in the private sector at the Hewlett Packard company.

They work on government computer systems, and they are angry over redundancies and pay freezes.

We need more unity like this -and everyone should support our fight.

Kate Douglas is the joint secretary of the PCS Department for Work and Pensions Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire branch. She writes in a personal capacity

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Article information

Tue 2 Mar 2010, 18:07 GMT
Issue No. 2191
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