Dispute Mediation workers vote for strike action!

Does this not say something about New Labour?

PCS members working for conciliation service (ACAS), whose job it is to resolve industrial disputes, have voted for strike action in a dispute over their own pay.

61% of members voting backed a rolling programme of one hour strikes in response to ACAS’s failure to make a pay offer for 2007. The settlement date for 2007 pay was seven months ago in August of last year.

80% of those taking part in the ballot, who work across fifteen ACAS sites based in England, Scotland and Wales, also voted for industrial action short of strike.

Staff are angry over the continued refusal by the government body responsible for mediating in industrial disputes to hold substantive negotiations on the 2007 pay offer.

The ACAS ballot result follows Friday’s strongly supported strike over pay inequality and below inflation pay in the Department for Transport (DfT) and five of its agencies, which saw approximately 5,000 driving tests cancelled.

The ballot result also comes two days before members in the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) take part in their first ever one-day strike over pay levels that fall way behind those paid to other emergency services and below inflation cost of living increases.

Commenting, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “The failure of any pay offer and the lack of substantive negotiations have forced the very people who resolve industrial disputes into voting for strike action themselves. Pay across the civil service is creating anger and frustration as the government press ahead with its discredited policy of below inflation pay resulting in pay cuts in real terms. The government can avoid embarrassing and damaging strike action in ACAS and elsewhere in the civil service by addressing low pay and paying a fair wage. “

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