THE NEW national executive of the PCS civil servants' union has held its first full meeting since the left and democracy candidates swept the board in last month's elections. The executive agreed to step up the union's national pay campaign in response to the government's recent policy of forcing departments to make unacceptably low offers.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, meets with Paul Boateng, the chief secretary of the Treasury, over this issue in early September. Before this, representatives from all the departments affected will get together to plan coordinating industrial action if pay offers are rejected. The Treasury is making a centralised attack on the pay and conditions of thousands of low paid workers. It will take a united fightback to overturn government policy.
The meeting also discussed campaigning to protect public services and halt job cuts in London and resisting attacks on pensions and defending asylum seekers.
SUE BOND, PCS vice-president
OVER 40 members of the PCS civil servants' union and other union activists met in east London on Tuesday of last week as part of the PCS's campaign to stop job and service cuts in London.
Some 10,000 workers in London are set to be balloted from the end of next week over industrial action against the government's plans to close down job centres and benefit offices.
In east London this could mean that the number of offices open could be reduced from 19 to just six, devastating the service. 'This campaign can unite union members and the users of the service,' PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka told the meeting. 'The union is committed to providing decent services. We will support our members if they vote to take industrial action.'