Strike vote blow for government departments

Members
of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have voted in favour of
industrial action in five government departments after being offered pay offers
below the rate of inflation.

Members
in the Department for Work and Pensions and the Prisons Service have already
indicated that if there is no prospect of a negotiated settlement they will go
ahead with strike action on 29 and 30 January.

Senior
union officials in the Department for Constitutional Affairs, Home Office and
Treasury Solicitors Office are meeting today to confirm what action to take
following the outcome of the ballots.

PCS
general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is not a decision our members have
taken lightly. We have sought and continue to find a solution through dialogue,
but have come up against an increasingly belligerent management in a number of
departments who seem hell bent on driving down pay. We are not talking about
run away pay increases, we are talking about money which is there, money that
can start to deal with the endemic problem of low pay in the civil service.”

By Quentin Reade

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