Civil servants to stage two-day strike

Tens
of thousands of civil servants will stage a two-day strike next week in an
ongoing pay dispute.

Workers,
including staff at job centres and benefit offices, will walk out on 13 and 14
April.

This
will be the second stoppage of the dispute. In February, some job centres and
benefit offices were forced to close as a result of the strike. Public and
Commercial Services (PCS) union members working in the prison service will also
join the walkout.

The
PCS union has claimed that many of its members have to survive on ‘poverty
pay’.

It
said thousands of workers earned less than £10,000 a year, and more than 20,000
staff in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had to claim the same
benefits they administered, because of their low pay.

But
managers in the DWP said the pay offer they have made is a ‘substantial’ one –
worth an average of 5 per cent – and is targeted towards more junior staff and
those on lower pay.

By Mike Berry

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