PCS gearing up for massive jobs fight

PCS members demonstrate outside the High Court during their appeal to defend their conditions
PCS members demonstrate outside the High Court during their appeal to defend their conditions

Civil servants union, the PCS, is gearing up for action to fight over 300,000 public sector job cuts, planned by the Tories.

PCS NEC member Andy Reid yesterday called for joint action with other public sector unions.

Asked to respond to leaked details of the planned cuts contained in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech, Reid told News Line: ‘We’ve only just had our PCS national conference.

‘The whole debate was preparing for this sort of onslaught on jobs and services.

‘The policies decided on include campaigning and action to defend jobs in conjunction with other trade unions, including industrial action if necessary.

‘Members were grimly determined. They can see that action will be necessary.

‘We reject the false distinction between frontline jobs and back office functions as bogus.’

Chancellor Osborne is today announcing the first £6bn of cuts in prime minister Cameron’s 500-day programme to cut the deficit.

A programme of at least 21 Bills to be introduced in the next 18 months, revealed in the leaked final draft of tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech, includes a £513m cut in the budgets for ‘quangos’, with some being abolished altogether.

According to the leaked draft, the Queen will announce that the government’s priority will be to ‘reduce the deficit and restore economic growth’ and to ‘accelerate the reduction of the structural budget deficit’, with five Bills led by the Treasury.

Business secretary Cable’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will bear the brunt of the initial cuts, making savings of £900m.

His predecessor, Lord Mandelson, pledged a £270m loan guarantee to sustain GMM Luton. This is to be renegotiated to save money, as are £370m of guarantees to Ford, a £90m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and a £20m loan to Nissan.

While the first wave of cuts will mainly target Whitehall, more savage cuts of up to 25 per cent in some departmental budgets will follow in a comprehensive spending review in the autumn.

Some estimates suggest that the number of job losses could reach 700,000.

Leaked internal NHS documents reveal that tens of thousands of health service managers as well as many thousands of doctors and nurses, face the axe.

Three out of the ten strategic health authorities have disclosed that they plan to axe a total of 30,132 posts.

At least 100,000 council workers across the UK are se to face the axe too.

About 20,000 jobs cuts are planned at the Ministry of Defence as the MoD faces a demand to reduce its administrative costs by 25 per cent.

Ministers are promising a ‘bonfire of quangos’, with those set to be axed including the Skills Funding Agency, which employs 1,200 people, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, which employs 723, and the South East England Development Agency, which has 270 staff,

The Skills Funding Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England will be replaced by a new Council for Adult Skills and Higher Education.