Around 85,000 workers in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are set to strike again on 2 and 3 May against government plans to slash 40,000 jobs.
The PCS civil service workers’ union strikes are set to coincide with the action by 25,000 further education lecturers in the Natfhe union over pay, which should make for a great, united day.
Our last strike at the end of January was brilliant, but union leaders in the DWP have allowed the negotiations with management to drag on too long.
Union activists will have to put in work to ensure this action is as well-supported as January’s, organising workplace and car park meetings.
In some areas members’ response to the continuing overtime ban has been very good, with weekend pickets.
In others it has been more mixed.
The union needs to put the argument to workers in areas where job cuts are not taking place such as the Child Support Agency and contact centres.
Management is trying to make them work longer and harder because of the job cuts.
The union also needs to have a clear idea of where the dispute is going.
Another two days’ action three months down the line is not going to win.
A programme of escalating action needs to be planned to force management and the government to back down.
We need momentum to fire the members up again.
The government wants to cut jobs to make the civil service more attractive to private companies.
It is great we are on strike alongside lecturers.
The unions’ should be organising joint rallies to bring everyone together during the day. It is a shame we are not striking along 1.5 million pension strikers too.
Where overtime is being worked the PCS should organise demonstrations to make the point that the government is spending money on overtime while sacking thousands of workers.
The number of jobs cut is having a terrible effect on the services workers can deliver to the public.
Everybody should back our fight against job cuts and in defence of public services.