33,000 more civil servants have voted to strike next month – joining 100,000 already walking out on their jobs in the UK. The newly balloted members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union will join the other civil servants who are walking out on 15 March – the same day as the government’s next budget announcement.
They are calling for a pay rise of at least 10%, protection to pensions, job security and no cuts to redundancy pay. The government has said the demands which it says would amount to £2.4 billion are unaffordable.
Ten groups of civil servants, previously balloted along with the others in November, failed to reach the 50% turnout threshold at the time but in a re-ballot, which ended Monday 27 February 2023, all of them reached the threshold and voted to strike.
The new groups which are joining the day of action include: the Care Commission, Companies House, HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs), the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Museum of Wales, Office of Rail & Road, UK Export Finance, UK SBS (Shared Business Services), the Valuation Office Agency and the Welsh Government.
They join the 124 groups, with 100,000 civil servants, who voted in November to strike.
Four other departments yesterday voted to take action short of a strike. They are the Rural Payments Agency, DEFRA, the Forestry Commission and the Marine Maritime Organisation.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Today’s overwhelming result is an astonishing show of strength and intent from our members and sends a very strong message to the government that we will not stop this action until we get a fair pay rise.
“We have consistently demanded a pay rise to help our members through the cost-of-living crisis; ministers have consistently refused to put more money on the table. They might have hoped we’d go away if they buried their heads in the sand, but they’ve under-estimated the determination of our members, who were praised for keeping the country running during the pandemic but now taken for granted. As these results clearly demonstrate, our members have had enough. Unless ministers put more money on the table, our strikes will continue to escalate, beginning from 15 March.”
PCS members at the Department for Work and Pensions, DVLA and Land Registry are already striking this week. Next week, the union’s members at Ofsted and driving instructors are taking action. Most PCS members who were balloted last year will vote again on 20 March as their six-month strike mandate expires in May.