Civil servants vote for strike action

A ballot for strike action by the Public and Commercial Services Union which represents UK civil servants, has resulted in the union’s members voting to take industrial action.

The result of the ballot is now set to impact on the delivery of a range of public services from the workings of driving test centres, job centres, to the operations of the UK border force.

The decision has been welcomed by the former Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn who tweeted to say, ‘Civil servants were told to accept real-terms cuts to pay and pensions. Today they are united and defiant in their response.  Solidarity with all PCS union members. I’ll see you on the picket line”.

A high 86.2% of those voting supported strike action, the highest percentage vote for action in the union’s history.

The legal turnout threshold of 50% is understood to have been achieved in 126 different employer areas. The average turnout across all balloted areas was 51.6%.

The PCS union is demanding a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and and no cuts to redundancy terms.

The PCS national executive committee (NEC) has now sent a letter to the Cabinet Office demanding meaningful negotiations on its claims. Unless substantial proposals are received from the government, the PCS NEC is expected to agree a programme of industrial action at its meeting on 18 November.

Commenting on the ballot, PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwortka said, “Our members have spoken and if the government fails to listen to them, we have no option than to launch a prolonged programme of industrial action reaching every corner of public life”.

The union says that its industrial action will be scheduled to have the maximum effect, including coordinating its action with other unions.