Socialist Worker

Serious action needed to defend civil service workers’ redundancy pay

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2516

Civil service workers in the PCS union

Civil service workers in the PCS union (Pic: Andrew McCoy)

The PCS civil service workers’ union has said it is refusing to sign up to Tory government plans to cut redundancy pay for its members.

The Tories want to cut civil service redundancy pay by 25 percent and reduce the compulsory redundancy notice period to three months.

They are refusing to talk with unions unless they agree to accept the changes.

Their attack on the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) comes as office closures in government departments, such as HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions, threaten thousands of jobs.

The PCS, along with the Unite and POA unions, has refused to sign up to cuts before entering talks.

But the FDA, Prospect, GMB, Unison and the Defence Police Federation have all accepted the cuts.

A statement from the PCS said, “We believe it is frankly outrageous for the Cabinet Office to require unions to sign up to the cuts before joining the talks.

It’s disappointing that unions that represent a small minority of civil servants appear to have agreed to this.” The PCS has launched a parliamentary petition calling on the government to stop the changes.

But it will take industrial action to stop the attacks on redundancy pay—and save civil service jobs in the first place.

Candy Udwin, who sits on the PCS national executive committee, said in a personal capacity, “Industrial action against attacks on CSCS would need to run alongside our campaigns against cuts, privatisation and office closures.

“Industrial action would have to include both national action and targeted action and be a serious, sustainable campaign.”

She added, “Relaunching the fighting fund and learning lessons from the successful disputes at National Gallery and National Museum Wales would show we were serious about fighting.”

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