Socialist Worker


Civil servants

26 October 2002
MEMBERS OF the PCS civil servants' union in DEFRA, the merged departments of agriculture and the environment, were surprised to be told on Wednesday of last week that the strike set for Friday had been called off. A pay offer had been made to the core department, but no matching offer had been made to the Rural Payments Agency.

Civil servants

12 October 2002
OVER 1,000 members of the civil servants' PCS union are due to start balloting for strike action on 10 October. Workers in central and west London are considering action in defence of their PCS branch secretary, Chris Ford.

Civil servants

05 October 2002
CIVIL SERVANTS in the PCS union working for DEFRA, the merged former ministry of agriculture and the department of the environment, have voted for strike action over pay disparities. Some 1,677 to 845 voted in favour of striking in a 50 percent turnout. Some 2,048 to 465 voted in favour of action short of a strike.

Civil servants

21 September 2002
Around 90,000 civil servants in the PCS union began balloting this week over a new pay deal in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). DWP bosses have offered workers on the lowest grades a 4 percent pay rise. This is higher than other offers to civil servants this year.

Museum workers

14 September 2002
A NEW pay deal is being put to 150 cleaners, gallery attendants, information desk staff and security staff in the PCS civil servants' union who work in the Museum of Scotland.


31 August 2002
OVER 80,000 members of the PCS civil servants' union are to be balloted over a new pay deal in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in September. DWP bosses have offered workers on the lowest grades a 4 percent pay rise. But this will still leave those on the lowest grade on a minimum of under £10,000 a year.

Civil service

24 August 2002
AROUND 5,000 members of the civil servants' PCS union in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are preparing to ballot on industrial action.

Serwotka officially leader of PCS union

10 August 2002
THERE WAS jubilation outside the High Court in London last week at news of the legal victory of civil servants' union leader Mark Serwotka. He had finally won his battle to take up the position of general secretary of the PCS union. A high court judge confirmed that his election in November 2000 was valid, and that the coup attempt by right wing former general secretary Barry Reamsbottom was illegal.

Check out our strike

03 August 2002
ALMOST 1,000 members of the PCS civil servants' union who work at the British Library struck for better pay on Monday. It was a good, strong picket line with a lot of support from passing motorists. Mark Serwotka, the elected PCS general secretary, came to the picket line.

Democracy in the scales

20 July 2002
THE ATTEMPT by the right wing leadership in the PCS civil servants' union to overthrow democracy has entered a crucial week. The court case between elected general secretary and socialist Mark Serwotka and outgoing general secretary Barry Reamsbottom began on Tuesday of this week. It will decide who runs the union.


13 July 2002
THE THREAT of strike action by 120 members of the PCS union at the National Galleries of Scotland has forced management to make an improved pay offer. The workers had introduced an overtime ban that shut all four Edinburgh galleries on Sundays.

Rallying our union

13 July 2002
HUNDREDS OF civil servants have packed PCS union democracy campaign meetings around the country. They are furious that discredited general secretary Barry Reamsbottom is trying to oust elected general secretary Mark Serwotka. Over 150 people met in Sheffield on Tuesday of last week, and 140 met in Manchester the next day.

Civil servants

06 July 2002
THE RIGHT wing coup inside the PCS civil servants' union looks like it could be backfiring. Barry Reamsbottom, the outgoing general secretary, and his misnamed "Moderate" supporters attempted at the end of May to depose Mark Serwotka, the elected general secretary.

Civil actions

29 June 2002
HUNDREDS OF civil servants met last week to defend democracy in their PCS union. Over 300 met in central London on Wednesday of last week, over 120 in Nottingham on Monday of this week and 50 in Bristol. They are protesting against the attempted coup by the discredited general secretary, Barry Reamsbottom, who wants to remove Mark Serwotka, the general secretary elect.

Civil servants

22 June 2002
A STRIKE by hundreds of workers in the PCS and Prospect civil servants' unions closed the British Museum in central London on Monday of this week. They were protesting against £6.5 million of cuts which will lead to the loss of 150 jobs-15 percent of the workforce. "After two other periods of redundancies it was time to make a stand," said Hadrian Ellory-Vandecker, the Prospect representative in the museum. "Management will be cutting back on essential services-there will be gallery closures. There will be a large number of compulsory redundancies. It's appalling." "This is the first time in its 250-year history that the Museum has been closed by industrial action," said Annette C

Rage against uncivil coup

15 June 2002
THE BATTLE for democracy in the PCS civil servants' union is continuing. The right wing dominated national executive launched a coup three weeks ago to remove the elected general secretary, socialist Mark Serwotka. They wanted to replace him with discredited general secretary Barry Reamsbottom.

This is a battle to defend democracy

08 June 2002
THE RIGHT wing coup in the PCS civil servants' union has been greeted with a storm of protest from the union's members. Two weeks ago the right wing majority on the union's national executive launched the coup when they tried to remove socialist Mark Serwotka as PCS general secretary.

A coup against union democracy in the PCS

01 June 2002
THE RIGHT in the PCS civil servants' union have launched one of the most disgusting assaults on union democracy for years. They have carried out a coup and sacked the elected general secretary of the union. In December 2000 socialist candidate Mark Serwotka received 40,740 votes to win the election for PCS general secretary. He beat Blairite candidate Hugh Lanning by 7,000 votes.

Battle for democratic control of political fund

25 May 2002
THE FUTURE of the political fund and the relationship between trade unions and the Labour Party were major issues at three union conferences last week. Debates at conferences of the TSSA rail union, the civil servants' PCS union and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) showed the continuing mood of anger with New Labour.

PCS conference

18 May 2002
THE PCS civil servants' union conference began as Socialist Worker went to press. The union has been moving to the left since the election of socialist Mark Serwotka as general secretary in December 2000. This trend is now becoming even clearer.

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