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Unions should co-ordinate strikes against the public-sector pay cap, congress hears

UNIONS should co-ordinate strikes for above-inflation pay rises in the public sector, TUC Congress heard today.

Civil Service union PCS said its members were still subject to a pay cap despite the government partially removing it for other public-sector workers.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Civil Service workers and those in related areas were treated like second-class workers this summer when the government refused to lift the pay cap.”

The union balloted for national strike action earlier this year, but turnout fell just short of arbitrary ballot thresholds imposed by Tory anti-strike laws.

This year the government issued guidance saying junior civil servants should get rises of between 1 and 1.5 per cent, while lifting the cap for other public-sector workers.

“The message we have sent the government today is that unity is strength and, if unions stick together, we can force the government to pay all our members the above-inflation pay rise they deserve,” Mr Serwotka said.

Meanwhile, prisons union POA called for the abolition of the prison service pay review body. Such panels set pay rises across the public sector.

“My members have suffered year on year pay cuts in real terms, as the [pay review body] do the government’s bidding,” POA leader Steve Gillan said.

“The POA have been prevented from taking any action to improve imposed pay decisions and treated like modern-day slaves.”


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