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PCS Conference 2022 Civil servants facing ‘perfect storm’ of bad pay and working conditions

CIVIL servants are facing a “perfect storm” of deteriorating pay, working conditions and mistreatment by Tory ministers, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union warned today. 

General secretary Mark Serwotka said that his members, who have been tasked with supporting communities through Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, are “enraged” by threats to cut jobs, slash real-terms pay and force them back into the office.

Speaking to the Morning Star, the former TUC president said that the union’s annual conference, which opened today in Brighton, was likely to see an “explosion of different emotions” from delegates.  

PCS members, who overwhelmingly backed industrial action in an indicative ballot earlier this year, are “saying we have no choice but to fight and fight with everything we’ve got,” he insisted. 

The consultative vote was held when inflation stood at about half its current rate and before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s threat to cut 91,000 Civil Service positions. 

Mr Serwotka said: “We’re faced with one in five jobs going, the single biggest cost-of-living rise anyone will have ever seen; we’re being robbed illegally of our pensions by 2 per cent every month and they want to cut our redundancy scheme by 33 per cent.

“We’ve also got [Jacob Rees-Mogg] putting childish notes on people’s desks.”

The Cabinet minister was widely condemned last month for leaving “condescending and passive-aggressive” messages on civil servants’ desks, urging them to abandon pandemic-induced home working. 

“That is a perfect storm, and a perfect storm requires a solidarity and unity amongst us to say no,” the general secretary said.

He called on all unions to embrace the TUC’s New Deal for Workers rally in London on June 18 to spark a national fightback. 

PCS is Britain’s biggest Civil Service union, with about 177,000 members. 

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