PCS consults members on ending strike action

Union wants to pause strike action in all departments which have agreed to pay the £1,500 civil service cost-of-living payment
PCS strikes held earlier this year in Edinburgh. Photo: G Scammell/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

13 Jul 2023

The civil service’s biggest union will launch a national ballot asking its members’ approval to end strike action for all departments which have offered officials a £1,500 one-off cost-of-living payment.

Members of PCS have been taking targeted and national strike action since December and have live mandates for future strikes until November.

The union’s national executive committee is recommending that industrial action is paused, apart from where government departments and other public bodies fail to deliver a £1,500 one-off cost-of-living payment.

The ballot will run from August 3 to 31. PCS said it will engage in pay talks for 2023/24 and continue to campaign for pensions justice and for equality in the payment of the £1,500 lump sum to members.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We have made significant progress in our national campaign, forcing the government to double its pay offer and put money into our members’ pockets by giving them a one-off £1,500 cost-of-living crisis payment.

“While we don’t feel it goes far enough, it’s for our members to decide whether what we have won so far is sufficient to pause our strike action and move into a different phase of our dispute, continuing our campaign for better pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.

“There is no doubt our action so far has forced the government’s hand. And the government knows that, with 9,000 new members since the start of the dispute and with a new generation of reps and younger activists, if it fails to deliver in future, PCS is stronger than ever.”

The union has ended most strikes, but is still announcing action when departments and other public bodies have not agreed to the £1,500 cost-of-living payment. Yesterday, it announced three days' of action at the Care Quality Commission as it said the body has failed to make a formal pay offer to trade unions despite committing to make the payment in June and July.

Similar plans for strikes at the British Museum were cancelled earlier this week after a breakthrough in pay talks between the union and the museum.

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