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PCS threatens strikes in protest at cuts to redundancy terms

Public sector workers could go on strike as part of a Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union campaign against plans to cut redundancy payments.

The proposed offer from the Civil Service includes reducing the tariff for calculating exit payments from four weeks to three, capping exit and voluntary redundancy payments at 18 months’ salary and capping compulsory redundancy payments at nine months.

At a special meeting yesterday, the PCS national executive committee agreed to launch a national campaign against the proposals, warning that they could lead to job cuts.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, said: “This is further proof that far from being the party of the workers, the Tories remain wedded to the same failed austerity policies, seeking to axe tens of thousands more jobs on the cheap and damaging the services we all rely on.

“With previous cuts to these terms in recent memory, it is reprehensible that staff are being treated with such contempt, and ministers and senior officials have acted in a disgracefully underhand way by preventing any genuine negotiations.

“We are determined to fight the obvious consequences of these cuts with campaigns for jobs and public services in our communities across the UK, and through parliament and the courts if necessary.”

PCS will ballot its members next month with a recommendation to reject the government’s offer. This is not a ballot to strike, but the union said it will keep the option on the table.

In addition, it said it was considering a legal challenge to the changes, potentially focusing on the process the government has followed.

PCS has previously accused the Civil Service of shutting it out of negotiations after it refused to agree to the changes.

Simon Claydon, the director of civil service workforce strategy and inclusion, has told unions that if they reject the offer, the government will roll-out a stricter package, where the threshold for voluntary redundancy and exit payments will be 15 months’ salary.

Unite and the Prison Officers Association are also opposed to the new deal, while FDA and Prospect have agreed to it.

Garry Graham, Prospect’s deputy general secretary, said the union had instructed members to accept the offer to avoid “a sustained campaign of industrial action” if the government imposes the stricter deal.

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Dee   20/10/2016 at 12:42

As if cutting redundancy terms is not bad enough, to threaten to make the cuts even worse if workers have the audacity to object is appalling. This government and its stooges have completely forgotten the reason why they are here, they are simply interested in producing a mind numbing, zero hours contract culture. All of these proposals are also counter intuitive, if you keep people in work or with safe financial support, they will spend more money and pay more tax. Simon Claydon needs to realise we live in a civilised country that has moved on from bullying and intimidation, imposing more and more hardship on the working classes will only lead to unrest and civil strife - Thatcher reaped that whirlwind - this is not what any government should be about, Government of the people, by the people, for the people is what we have the right expect in this country and it is what we should get.

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