THE CIVIL servants' PCS union launched a major campaign last Saturday to end low pay in the service. Over a quarter of civil servants earn less than £13,250 a year.
Central to the campaign is the demand for a national framework to end pay discrepancies which are up to £4,700 between different departments. The campaign is likely to be a prelude to widespread industrial action. Low pay was not on the agenda of the right wing dominated national executive committee last week.
The misnamed Moderate group spent a whole day in a desperate last ditch attempt to prevent national elections. Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of annual elections in a recent ballot. General secretary Mark Serwotka is determined to carry out the membership decision and elections are still expected in May.
THE PCS London regional committee for the Department of Work and Pensions voted last week to campaign against job losses in job centres and benefits offices. Management are sacking 680 casual workers in London to make cuts.
'This is a direct result of the government's plan to sack 20,000 staff by April 2006,' says Paul Murphy, a member of the regional committee. 'We need a nationwide campaign. In London we're having a lobby of parliament on Tuesday 25 March and there are plans for a strike ballot in April.'