the very last minute on the 7th November the National Executive
Committee of PCS decided to suspend the national strike due on the 10th.
This difficult decision was taken after talks were offered from Sir Gus
O’Donnell, head of the civil service. In a letter to general secretary Mark
Serwotka he agreed that discussions
should take place to address the concerns that form the basis of the national pay
The demands of PCS are:
Consolidated basic pay increases at least equal to
the retail price index
Remove pay progression costs from budgets for
National pay bargaining – Fewer pay bargaining
Funding to remedy equal pay problems
No link between pay and performance appraisal
An end to pressure for regional rates of pay
he also agreed that the period during which the PCS can legally take strike
action would be extended by 28 days. This means that there will be no
requirement to re-ballot the members if the talks fail and action is resumed.
decision to enter talks and suspend the strike must be seen as a victory to the
hard work of reps and the commitment of members in preparing for the strike.
The government would not be offering talks if the strike were not seen as being
strongly supported by members from across the whole civil service. However, it
remains to be seen whether enough progress will be made to form the basis of an
The NEC must keep members fully informed of everything
that is discussed during the talks and if there are no concrete offers PCS must
immediately reinstate the strike. The talks do present a real opportunity to
achieve a settlement over low pay and lack of progression within pay scales for
civil servants but if by the next NEC meeting on the 27th November
no concrete offer has been made, with real figures for members to see, we must
insist a new strike date is set.
who were ready to take strike action in difficult times will be even more ready
to show their anger and determination if they see that the government had only
offered talks in a vain hope that they could stop 270,000 worker taking to the
streets and demanding pay rises in line with the retail price index of 4.8%.