Socialist Worker



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.

Gains for the left

04 May 2002
LEFT WING candidates have made gains in elections for the national executive of the civil servants' PCS union. Scottish Socialist Party member Janice Godrich has been elected president and Steve Cawkwell vice-president.

'Turn May Day into our day' – unite resistance to privatisation and war

13 April 2002
A call has gone out to trade unionists to "Make May Day our day". The appeal is from former Labour MP Tony Benn, and Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. It slams New Labour's privatisation plans and anti trade union laws. It also points out how the government's war plans against Iraq are opposed by the majority of the population.

NUT conference: teachers back call for protest against privatisation

06 April 2002
Pressure for a united demonstration by public service workers against the government's privatisation drive is mounting. Delegates at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference voted last weekend to back a national anti-privatisation demonstration. That comes after the call for such a protest by Mark Serwotka, general secretary elect of the PCS civil servants' union. Other public sector workers now have a chance to press their unions to take up the call.

PCS accept pay offer

06 April 2002
Civil servants in the PCS union in DEFRA, formerly the Ministry of Agriculture, have voted to accept management's revised pay offer for 2001-2. Workers will receive increases from April 2000 of at least £2,000.

Throw out this new offer

27 March 2002
The management of the government's new Jobcentre Plus scheme have made a new offer to civil servants in the PCS union working in job centres and benefits offices. Ballot papers were sent out this week. Union leaders are recommending that members accept the offer, but it falls far short of what members need. The dispute was centred on New Labour's plans to scrap safety screens in the newly amalgamated offices.

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