BUDGET DAY STRIKE! – by 270,000 PCS civil servants!

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THE PCS civil service union yesterday announced that members across the UK will be walking out for a third day of strike action on Budget Day, March 24.

The strike is over big cuts to redundancy terms, the PCS said.

‘The imposed changes will see staff robbed of up to a third of their entitlements and lead to loyal civil and public servants losing tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of a job.’

PCS members up and down the country will also be taking part in a national campaign day this Friday, which will see the union’s battle bus touring civil service sites in London and visiting the minister for the civil service, Tessa Jowell MP’s south London constituency.

In addition to public leafleting, members will also be taking their message to MPs in ‘key marginal seats’ as well as the prime minister and other cabinet minister’s constituencies.

The PCS said: ‘Last week’s action on Monday and Tuesday led to the disruption of court sittings, the cancellation of an estimated 4,000 driving tests, and Job Centres offering little or no service to the public.

‘Call centres dealing with taxes and benefits were also hit, with members of the public being asked to call back another day.

‘The union estimated that approximately 80,000 passports were delayed because of the industrial action and warned that backlogs elsewhere could develop as a result of an overtime ban.’

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘If further disruption and strike action on budget day is to be avoided, then the government needs to enter into negotiations and reach an agreement that protects existing members’ entitlements.

‘Loyal civil servants will not stand by and allow the jobs and services that they are proud to deliver to be cut on the cheap, and are willing to take action to defend jobs and services.

‘The government cannot bury its head in the sand and needs to recognise the depth of anger it has provoked in tearing up the contracts of hard working civil servants.’

The PCS has more than 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies. It also represents workers in parts of government transferred to the private sector.