Civil service workers were set to gather this week for a series of rallies and briefings on their PCS union’s campaign against low pay.
Activists are gearing up for a possible ballot for industrial action this year, demanding an end to more than a decade of a pay freeze.
The Tories have held pay rises for workers in government departments at just 1 percent—well below inflation, meaning an effective pay cut.
The PCS is demanding a pay increase for all workers of between 8 and 10 percent. It also wants a £10 an hour living wage—£11.55 in London—and national bargaining across the civil service. A strike ballot over pay last year saw more than 86 percent of those who took part vote in favour of strikes.
But the ballot failed to meet the 50 percent turnout threshold demanded by Tory anti-union laws.
The briefings must be used as a chance to organise activists around preparing for a ballot, and building and strengthening the union.
Socialist Worker supporters are backing Stella Dennis to be the Left Unity candidate for the PCS union’s assistant general secretary (AGS).
Dennis is standing in the election to win Left Unity’s backing against incumbent AGS Chris Baugh.
The election is being re-run after Janice Godrich, who beat Baugh in the previous election, stood down due to illness.
Socialist View—the grouping that backs Dennis—said she is the candidate linked to a strategy for a unified national campaign over pay.
Baugh has argued for disaggregated ballots with separate demands in the different PCS sectors.
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Another sign of establishment crisis
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