100,000 civil servants to join one-day strike action on budget day

PCS Union plan represents significant escalation in a long-running dispute over pay, pension and job security demands

At least 100,000 civil servants will join one-day strike action on budget day in a significant escalation in a long-running dispute over pay, pension and job security demands.

The strike by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, which will comprise workers from across 123 government departments, is scheduled to coincide with Jeremy Hunt’s announcement of his first full budget on 15 March, as the government prepares to wrest control over the cost of living crisis and stick to its deficit reduction plan.

It comes after tens of thousands of union members joined industrial action from PCS members 1 February, which forced the army to be called in to replace striking border officers, and the British Museum to shut.

PCS members are suffering an “unacceptable” pay decline, said the union’s general secretary, Mark Serwotka, citing the 40,000 civil servants who have used food banks and a third of HMRC staff who will be earning just above minimum wage by April.

“It’s an appalling way for the government to treat its own workforce,” Serwotka said. “Rishi Sunak doesn’t seem to understand that the more he ignores our members’ demands for a pay rise to get them through the cost-of-living crisis, the more angry and more determined he makes them.”

Echoing previous warnings, Serwotka said the prime minister could end the dispute immediately by putting “more money on the table” – threatening that should he choose not to, “more action is inevitable”.

Industrial action from PCS members is set to continue throughout February. However, should PCS members in HMRC, Care Quality Commission, Companies House, National Museum of Wales and others ballot to join the upcoming strike action, a further 30,000 workers will join the 100,000 already poised to strike.

Unions and the government appear as far apart as ever after striking workers from participating unions held rallies in cities including Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham and London last week. Teachers, university staff, rail workers and civil servants have all stopped work to demand better pay.

Prospect union said they are currently balloting public sector employees on industrial action, which closes on 24 February. While the possible strike dates are to be decided, a spokesperson said: “It is not out of the question it would be the same day.”


Geneva Abdul

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Civil servants’ strike vote follows years of abrasive government cuts
Long-term pay restraint and keeping public services working through various lockdowns have fuelled action

Heather Stewart

10, Nov, 2022 @3:33 PM

Article image
UK civil servants in Whitehall and frontline services vote to strike
Services from passports to pensions could be affected as 100,000 PCS union members to join nurses in wave of stoppages

Heather Stewart

10, Nov, 2022 @12:45 PM

Article image
UK facing Christmas travel chaos as civil servants in three departments to strike
Stoppages will affect passport and border checks, driving tests and farm payments throughout Christmas

Heather Stewart

18, Nov, 2022 @4:32 PM

Article image
100,000 UK civil servants to strike on 1 February
Public and Commercial Services union announces one-day strike over jobs, pay and conditions

Rowena Mason

11, Jan, 2023 @6:26 PM

Article image
Severe rail disruption across Great Britain as train drivers strike over pay
Members of Aslef union on 24-hour strike, affecting services in England, Scotland and Wales

Gwyn Topham and Amy Walker

13, Aug, 2022 @11:38 AM

100,000 civil servants strike over pay
Picket lines were today in place outside Jobcentres, benefit offices, prisons and three government departments as 100,000 workers went on strike over pay in one of the worst days of industrial unrest in the history of the civil service.

Press Association

13, Apr, 2004 @1:11 AM

Article image
Nurses’ action is part of UK’s biggest wave of strikes in a generation
NHS workers join others in seeking to protect living standards in the face of below-inflation pay offers

Heather Stewart

20, Dec, 2022 @3:27 PM

Article image
Reach PLC journalists call off strike over low pay at last minute
Employees at the Daily Mirror, Express and other newspapers were due to walk out in protest on Friday

Jim Waterson Media editor

25, Aug, 2022 @7:13 PM

Article image
‘We want to get on with what we love’: what union activists are fighting for
A train cleaner, a 999 call handler and a museum guide say they are tired of feeling unvalued and being left behind financially

Heather Stewart

10, Oct, 2022 @5:00 AM

Article image
Public sector strikes could hinder police work, says Met chief
Mark Rowley says industrial action will exacerbate health-related calls and distract from crime workload

Tom Ambrose

12, Nov, 2022 @1:21 PM