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UK: PCS Budget Day strike on 20 March - and a three month programme of action against austerity

18 March 2013
Back the Budget Day strike
In the face of the overwhelming evidence that austerity isn't working, and mounting public opposition to chancellor George Osborne and the UK government's disastrous handling of the economy, the Public and Commercial Services union is stepping up its campaign for the alternative with a three-month programme of industrial action and protests.

This will start with a strike involving almost 250,000 of the union's members on budget day on 20 March. The campaign is designed to put pressure on the government that is refusing even to talk to the union that represents the majority of its staff.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This is not a one-day protest, this is the start of a rolling programme of walkouts and disruptive action to put pressure on a government that is refusing to talk to us.

The union has announced that almost 250,000 members who work in government departments and its related bodies will hold a half-day walkout on Friday 5 April, the end of the tax year, and that will be followed by a week of campaigning against tax avoidance and evasion.


PCS has been fighting austerity since 2010, when the union published 'There is an alternative: the case against cuts in public spending'. The pamphlet called for job creation to boost the economy and cut the deficit; for investment in socially useful areas such as housing, renewable energy and public transport; and for a serious clampdown on tax evasion and avoidance.


In 2012 this was followed up with 'Austerity isn't working', which picked up on these themes and showed how those at the top of the income scales were still doing well, while those in the middle and at the bottom were seeing their living standards decline.


In February 2013 PCS published 'Britain needs a pay rise' that showed that since 2008 more than £50 billion (7%) has been cut from wages in the public and private sectors and, at the same time, there has been a 5% drop in consumer demand.

The report also showed that, when set alongside direct comparators in the private sector, civil service pay lagged behind by more than £1,200 a year. At some grades the difference is 10%.


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