Why don’t civil servants get a bail-out?

Why is it that there’s billions to be flung at struggling bankers, but nothing but cuts for struggling workers?

The News Line reports:

Hundreds of thousands of civil servants, members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over pay.

A PCS statement said yesterday that ‘a prolonged programme of industrial action, hitting civil and public services across the UK moved a step closer today.’

It added that PCS members have ‘overwhelmingly backed strike action in a dispute over the government’s 2% public sector pay cap.’

The union said: ‘54% of those taking part in the ballot backed union plans for industrial action, which includes national civil service-wide strikes, targeted strike action and overtime bans.

‘The union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will be meeting on Thursday 23 October to finalise plans and decide on dates for the programme of industrial action which could stretch over the coming months.

‘An announcement confirming these plans will be made on 23 October.

‘The ballot result comes as civil and public servants across the UK face mounting pressure on their finances as a result of the government’s public sector pay cap.

‘With a quarter of the civil service earning less than £16,500 and thousands earning just above the minimum wage, the government’s policy of capping public sector pay has hit some of the lowest paid in the public sector the hardest, leading to real terms pay cuts and pay freezes.

‘Pay in the civil service is worse than other parts of the public sector because “progression” (moving from the minimum to the maximum of the pay range) is included in the government’s pay cap.

‘Hence there is less money available to fund basic pay awards.’

This year has already seen pay strikes hit jobcentres, passports, immigration and coastguards across the UK, as well as strikes in the Scottish courts service, museums and sportscotland.

PCS members have also co-ordinated their industrial action over pay with other public sector unions, including NUT, UCU and Unison.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘The hardworking people who keep this country running, from passports, immigration and justice, to coastguards, tax and jobcentres, face increasing financial hardship because of the government’s public sector pay cap.

‘Pay freezes and real term pay cuts are simply not sustainable when you are earning a pittance and experiencing double digit rises in food, fuel and housing costs.

‘Bailing out bankers should not be at the expense of those who deliver public services or those who rely on them.

‘Members feel betrayed and this ballot result illustrates that they are prepared to stand up for fair pay.

‘The union’s NEC will be meeting next week to take forward that result and finalise plans for a programme of industrial action.

‘The government have a window of opportunity to avert industrial action and to recognise that their public sector pay cap is compounding the financial misery of hardworking families in these unstable economic times.’

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3 Responses to “Why don’t civil servants get a bail-out?”

  1. David Lindsay Says:

    In fact, why no bail out for all sorts of people? Why none for the Farepak victims, who certainly aren’t asking for half a trillion pounds?

    I am all in favour of nationalising the banks, at least as a preliminary measure so that they can be changed to a provenly successful business model by being mutualised (though retaining the large central government interest in whatever contains the Bank of Scotland, and the controlling central government interest in the Royal Bank of Scotland, as safeguards of the Union).

    But I cannot for the life of me see why taxpayers’ money should be spent on keeping either top staff or big shareholders from becoming so poor that they themselves might need to pay tax.

  2. harpymarx Says:

    “Why is it that there’s billions to be flung at struggling bankers, but nothing but cuts for struggling workers?”

    Absolutely! From struggling workers to debt-ridden students to being expected once you lose your job to exist on JSA…. So on and so forth.
    And it is precisely ordinary people who will suffer the consequences of this bail-out.

  3. charliemarks Says:

    We lend them money through our taxes – they lend us the money back and charge us for the priviledge. WTF?

    “I cannot for the life of me see why taxpayers’ money should be spent on keeping either top staff or big shareholders from becoming so poor that they themselves might need to pay tax.”

    Classic!


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