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Civil servants strike: 100,000 staff to walk out on Spring Budget day

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 07/02/2023 Josh Salisbury
Mass UK strike action © PA Mass UK strike action

More than 100,000 civil servants are set to walk out on the same day as the Budget across scores of Government departments, a union has announced.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said its members would stage the industrial action on March 15, the same day as the Spring Budget, in an effort to exert “significant pressure” on the Government.

It marks an escalation in the dispute over pay and conditions after members of the union joined in strikes on February 1, which also involved teachers, university staff and train drivers.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Rishi Sunak doesn't seem to understand that the more he ignores our members' demands for a pay rise to get them through the cost-of-living crisis, the more angry and more determined he makes them.

“PCS members are suffering a completely unacceptable decline in their pay. By April, one third of HMRC staff, for example, will be earning just the minimum wage, and 40,000 civil servants have used a food bank.

“It's an appalling way for the Government to treat its own workforce. Rishi Sunak can end this dispute tomorrow if he puts more money on the table. If he refuses to do that, more action is inevitable.”

A further 33,000 PCS members are being balloted across a number of Government employers to join the strike.

The union, the biggest within the civil service, is asking for a 10% pay rise, no job cuts and for planned cuts to redundancy payments to be scrapped.

A Government spokesperson has previously claimed the demand would cost an “unaffordable” £2.4 billion, saying the focus “must be on bringing down inflation to ease the pressure on households across the country, protecting the vulnerable and rebuilding our economy”.

Members of the NEU teachers’ union in England and Wales are also planning to go on strike on March 15 and 16.

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